The Polar Code Service provides situational information to ships travelling in Arctic waters. Ships operate in the Arctic for a variety of reasons, including:
- Supporting scientific research
- Supporting oil and gas exploration
- Supplying northern communities
- Transiting the Northwest and Northeast passages
- Transporting production from northern resource extraction operations
The service aggregates the information required under the Polar Code, makes it accessible over low-bandwidth connections, and enables users, who may have limited experience in assessing ice and related information, to visualize the information and undertake the risk analysis and operational activities required by the Code. Data from a variety of sources, such as Copernicus Marine Service and the international ice charting services, are integrated and made available in a manner that allows ships to decide which data they want to download given their current Internet connection capability.
Information is available for three time frames: historical, current, and future.
Copernicus Marine Service Products used in the Polar Code Service
|Copernicus Marine Service Name||Variable|
|Global Ocean 1/12° Physics Analysis and Forecast updated Daily||– Horizontal water velocity (eastward and northward components)|
– Sea ice concentration
– Sea ice velocity (eastward and northward components)
– Sea ice thickness
|Global Ocean OSTIA Sea Surface Temperature and Sea Ice Analysis||– Sea ice area fraction |
– Sea surface temperature
|Global Ocean Waves Analysis and Forecast updated Daily||– Sea surface wave significant height|
|Global Ocean Wind L4 Near Real Time 6 Hourly Observations||– Eastward wind |
– Northward wind
Use of Copernicus Marine Service Products
CMEMS data is integrated into the Polar Code Service in two ways:
- Quasi-static data – Historical data is reanalyzed by week over the past five years. Mean and +-80 percentile values are provided. The variables include sea ice area fraction, sea ice thickness, sea ice drift, sea current, sea temperature, wave height, and wind speed. This assists a ship in planning a voyage by indicating what conditions might be expected, given previous experience, on its route. This data is only updated occasionally and is downloaded when the ship is in port and can access a high speed Internet connection.
- Dynamic current and forecast data – current and forecast data is made available to the ship as it becomes available, and the ship decides when and which data it wants to download. The Polar Code Service checks available data from the Copernicus Marine Service regularly and new data is downloaded automatically when it is available. Only the latest data is kept in the Polar Code Service.
Utility of the Copernicus Marine Service information
Marine Vessels travelling in the polar regions will have access to vital information, as required by IMO regulations, that they would not otherwise be able to access in a timely and efficient manner. This will increase safety of life and property, while helping to protect the environment from marine activities.
Polar Code Service Architecture
The Polar Code Service can be accessed using any Web browser from the Cloud or installed locally on a laptop.
Data is available from a variety of sources, including the Copernicus Marine Service. The user controls the type and amount of data that is downloaded.
Access to the Polar Code Service requires registration and a small service charge.
Development of the Polar Code Service began in May 2019 with the support of the Copernicus Marine Service.
The Polar Code Service will be used to implement the polar use case of the Horizon 2020 ExtremeEarth project.
Development is scheduled to be completed by November 2020.
For more information about the Polar Code Service
For more information about the Copernicus Marine Service
Copernicus Marine Service Website: marine.copernicus.eu
Copernicus Marine Service Desk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org