Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (SHEBA)

1 September 1997 - 1 September 1998

Lead Scientist: Richard Moritz

Observatory: NSA

The overarching purpose of the Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (SHEBA) was to produce year-long retrievals of cloud properties, including crystal/droplet sizes, optical depths, water contents, and cloud boundaries through the depth of the troposphere. These results were intended to enhance the understanding of the thermodynamic coupling between the atmosphere and the ocean when covered with sea ice.

Beginning in October 1997 and lasting for 12 months, the Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic experiment, a multi-agency program led by the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research, deployed an instrumented ice camp within the perennial Arctic Ocean ice pack surrounding the Des Groseilliers, an ice-strengthened ship. From this experiment, ARM began collecting complementary data on the atmosphere, sea ice, and underlying ocean and the North Slope of Alaska observatory was born.In 1997, SHEBA participants placed a Canadian icebreaker, DesGroseilliers, in the Arctic ice pack 570 kilometers northeast of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. During its year-long deployment, the DesGroseilliers powered a comprehensive suite of atmospheric, ocean, and ice sensors that were operated on the ship and the surrounding ice floe. In addition, ARM deployed two dozen instruments, including a lidar and millimeter cloud radar, and gathered 10 sets of vertical profiles of clouds and aerosol properties data from over the SHEBA site.

The interdisciplinary effort between ARM and NOAA for SHEBA consisted of three phases. The first began in 1995 with the examination of existing Arctic data and models, the second involved the deployment and operation of instruments as part of SHEBA field effort, and the third ended in 2002 with in-depth analysis of processes and feedback mechanisms from data obtained during the SHEBA deployment. Both ARM and NOAA contributed equipment, data, and personnel to this NSF-funded multiseason field experiment, which helped develop detailed models of physical processes on a local and aggregate scale.

Additional Information


Chechin D, I Makhotina, C Lüpkes, and A Makshtas. 2019. "Effect of Wind Speed and Leads on Clear-Sky Cooling over Arctic Sea Ice during Polar Night." Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 76(8), 10.1175/JAS-D-18-0277.1.

Simpfendoerfer L, J Verlinde, J Harrington, M Shupe, Y Chen, E Clothiaux, and J Golaz. 2019. "Formation of Arctic Stratocumuli through Atmospheric Radiative Cooling." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 124(16), 10.1029/2018JD030189.

Yu L, Q Yang, M Zhou, X Zeng, D Lenschow, X Wang, and B Han. 2019. "The Intraseasonal and Interannual Variability of Arctic Temperature and Specific Humidity Inversions." Atmosphere, 10(4), 10.3390/atmos10040214.

Nielsen-Englyst P, J Høyer, K Madsen, R Tonboe, G Dybkjær, and E Alerskans. 2019. "In situ observed relationships between snow and ice surface skin temperatures and 2m air temperatures in the Arctic." The Cryosphere, 13(3), 10.5194/tc-13-1005-2019.


Pithan F, G Svensson, R Caballero, D Chechin, T Cronin, A Ekman, R Neggers, M Shupe, A Solomon, M Tjernström, and M Wendisch. 2018. "Role of air-mass transformations in exchange between the Arctic and mid-latitudes." Nature Geoscience, 11(11), 10.1038/s41561-018-0234-1.

Norgren M, G de Boer, and M Shupe. 2018. "Observed aerosol suppression of cloud ice in low-level Arctic mixed-phase clouds." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 18(18), 10.5194/acp-18-13345-2018.
Research Highlight

Grosvenor D, O Sourdeval, P Zuidema, A Ackerman, M Alexandrov, R Bennartz, R Boers, B Cairns, J Chiu, M Christensen, H Deneke, M Diamond, G Feingold, A Fridlind, A Hünerbein, C Knist, P Kollias, A Marshak, D McCoy, D Merk, D Painemal, J Rausch, D Rosenfeld, H Russchenberg, P Seifert, K Sinclair, P Stier, B van Diedenhoven, M Wendisch, F Werner, R Wood, Z Zhang, and J Quaas. 2018. "Remote Sensing of Droplet Number Concentration in Warm Clouds: A Review of the Current State of Knowledge and Perspectives." Reviews of Geophysics, 56(2), 10.1029/2017RG000593.

Podgorny I, D Lubin, and D Perovich. 2018. "Monte Carlo Study of UAV-Measurable Albedo over Arctic Sea Ice." Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 35(1), 10.1175/JTECH-D-17-0066.1.

Fridlind AM and AS Ackerman. 2018. Simulations of Arctic Mixed-Phase Boundary Layer Clouds: Advances in Understanding and Outstanding Questions. In Mixed-Phase Clouds Observations and Modeling, pp. 153-183. Ed. by Constantin Andronache, Elsevier.
Research Highlight


Fan S, D Knopf, A Heymsfield, and L Donner. 2017. "Modeling of Aircraft Measurements of Ice Crystal Concentration in the Arctic and a Parameterization for Mixed-Phase Cloud." Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 74(11), 10.1175/JAS-D-17-0037.1.

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Campaign Data Sets

IOP Participant Data Source Name Final Data
Peter Hobbs UW- Convair-580 aircraft Order Data
James Liljegren MWR Order Data