go back Print current document
SWIPA - Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic

The Arctic Council's Project on Climate Change and the Arctic Cryosphere

Project Brochure - Project Description - SWIPA Products - SWIPA Work Area - Contact

The Greenland Ice Sheet in a Changing Climate - GRIS/SWIPA 2009

Results presented at the UNFCCC COP XV, Copenhagen, December 2009

The SWIPA project was established by the Arctic Council in April 2008 as a follow-up to the 2004 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA). Its goal is to assess current scientific information on changes in the Arctic cryosphere, including the impacts of climate change on the ice, snow, and permafrost characteristics of the Arctic, which have potentially far reaching implications for both the Arctic and the Earth as a whole.

The project is briefly described in a Brochure (right). A full description of the project components and organization, and its overall timeline can be found in the SWIPA Project Description document.

The work under SWIPA is organized into three major components (Arctic Sea Ice, Greenland Ice-sheet, Terrestrial Cryosphere), with the terrestrial component further divided into four modules (Snow, Permafrost, Glaciers and ice-sheets, Hydrology). Each component/module has one or more lead countries.

The SWIPA Integration Team is responsible for overall project coordination and will develop an Integrated Synthesis Report.


A first report on “The Greenland Ice Sheet in a Changing Climate” and two short films are being prepared under the Arctic Council as contributions to the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark in December 2009.

The final SWIPA reports will be presented to the Arctic Council in Spring 2011 and will serve as an Arctic contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UNIPCC), scheduled for completion in 2013/2014.

Project Work Area

Component/Module Next Meeting Login Area
Arctic Sea Ice Component 29-30 October 2009, Boulder ARSI_Area
Greenland Ice-sheet Component not yet decided GRIS_Link
Terrestrial Cryosphere - Snow Module 25-27 April 2009, Vienna SNOW_Link
Terrestrial Cryosphere - Permafrost Module 13-15 May 2009, Delaware PERM_LINK
Terrestrial Cryosphere - Glaciers/Ice-Sheet Module 12-17 September 2009, Boulder GLAC_Link
Terrestrial Cryosphere - Hydrology Module not yet decided HYDR_Link
Integration Team 8-9 October 2009, Copenhagen INTG_Link
Socio-economics sub-group not yet decided SOEC_Link
General SWIPA internal documentation - SWIPA_Link

AMAP Secretariat: Tel. +47 23 24 16 35; Fax. +47 22 67 67 06; e-mail amap@amap.no

SWIPA is coordinated by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), in cooperation with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the WCRP-CliC Program

AMAP logo
© AMAP Secretariat, 2003