Welcome to ASOF

ASOF is an international program on the oceanography of the Arctic and Subarctic seas and their role in climate. ASOF focusses on ocean fluxes of mass, heat, freshwater, and ice in the Arctic and Subarctic oceans.
The program was established in 2000 and the first phase from 2000 - 2008 coordinated novel measurements in novel places in order to produce a basiline freshwater flux budget for Arctic inflows and outflows. The first ASOF phase had the overall goal to measure and model the variability of fluxe between the Arctic Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean with the view to implementing a longer term system of critical measurements needed  to understand the high-latitude ocean's steeming role in decadal climate variability.
In 2008 the ASOF book was published entitled "Arctic-Subarctic Ocean Fluxes: Defining the Role of the Northern Seas in Climate" summarizing the state of the science at that time (available here).
Since 2008, ASOF has entered a second phase: ASOF II. Bob Dickson, the inspiration behind ASOF and the first Scientific Coordinator, stepped down and was replaced by Tom Haine. ASOF II still has a focus on fluxes, but now has a charge to apply the knowledge gained during the first phase to broader issues of high scientific and societal importance. In particular, ASOF II foci are:
  • To perform an Arctic/Subarctic synthesis of mass, heat & freshwater fluxes,
  • To interact with scientists and programs studying Arctic/Subarctic ocean ecosystems and biology,
  • To assist testing of ocean circulation and biophysical models of the Arctic and Subarctic.
See more details at ASOF II objectives. ASOF has been sponsored by 16 agencies and institutes in 7 countries in the past. Currently, AWI is supporting ASOF II. ASOF II consists of an International Scientific Steering Group which meets annually to discuss progress and plans. Please contact Michael Karcher if you would like to attend the next meeting or become involved in the ISSG.

ASOF Workshop 10-12 May 2023

This is a call for abstract submission and registration to join the ASOF workshop 2023 which will kindly be hosted at the 'IOCAG - Instituto de Oceanografía y Cambio Global - Universidad de las Palmas de Gran Canaria' as a full three days meeting 10-12 May 2023.

Abstracts dealing with the following workshop themes will be welcome:

  • studies related to better understanding the Arctic/Subarctic Oceans 
  • Arctic/Subarctic syntheses of mass, heat & freshwater fluxes, and their dynamics
  • coordination and planning of future projects on the coupled dynamics of the Arctic and Subarctic oceans, including the physical system and its connection with the marine biogeochemical system and the ecosystem
  • contributions to the engagement phase of the Fourth International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP IV) process
  • coordination and planning for the three Arctic DBOs (the well-established Pacific DBO, the on-going establishments of an Atlantic-Arctic DBO as part of the Arctic PASSION project, and a Davis Strait/Baffin Bay DBO)

We have applied to IASC for travel support for Early Careers Scientists to the meeting. Those who identify as ECS (within 5 years their PhD) are welcome to indicate this in the registration form. While we hope for success in the application to IASC we will only know about the outcome a few weeks before the meeting (April). We thus strongly advise ECS who apply to still find own funding for the participation. We will start our internal ranking of abstract submissions for the ECS support after the submission deadline, and in case of a positive outcome we will inform the top candidates as soon as possible after the IASC decision and make the support available instead of the own funding.

Please submit abstracts and register online until February 15th here: https://forms.office.com/e/ky6RRjgQ3R 

The meeting will offer online participation options, please indicate your preference in the form.

We look forward to an exciting meeting in May!


Lola, Tom and Michael


Scientific Coordinator:
Michael Karcher

Administrative Support:
Lilian Schubert