Dramatic changes in the Arctic have captured the attention of the public. Understanding changes such as the decline of sea ice, the fate of polar bears and other marine mammals, melting of the Greenland ice sheet, changes in the terrestrial carbon budget, and impacts on and feedbacks from the human community require a new approach to research involving synthesis of linkages between system components and threshold behaviors.
Addressing these challenges requires substantial improvement in methods to integrate complex and disparate data from observations and models, including traditional knowledge. Data are collected for a variety of purposes, are poorly harmonized over space and time, and bear varying degrees of access. Synthesizing this information requires innovative data discovery, standardization, interdisciplinary data integration, distribution, and advanced data assimilation to support the development of Arctic system models.