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

Related Publications


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.


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

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


Li Z, K Xu, and A Cheng. 2017. "The Response of Simulated Arctic Mixed-Phase Stratocumulus to Sea Ice Cover Variability in the Absence of Large-Scale Advection." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 122(22), 10.1002/2017JD027086.

Gryanik V and C Lüpkes. 2017. "An Efficient Non-iterative Bulk Parametrization of Surface Fluxes for Stable Atmospheric Conditions Over Polar Sea-Ice." Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 166(2), 10.1007/s10546-017-0302-x.

Korolev A, G McFarquhar, P Field, C Franklin, P Lawson, Z Wang, E Williams, S Abel, D Axisa, S Borrmann, J Crosier, J Fugal, M Kramer, U Lohmann, O Schlenczek, and M Wendisch. 2017. "Ice Formation and Evolution in Clouds and Precipitation: Measurement and Modeling Challenges. Chapter 5: Mixed-phase clouds: progress and challenges." Meteorological Monographs, 58, 10.1175/AMSMONOGRAPHS-D-17-0001.1.

Sorbjan Z. 2017. "Assessment of Gradient-Based Similarity Functions in the Stable Boundary Layer Derived from a Large-Eddy Simulation." Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 163(3), 10.1007/s10546-017-0234-5.

Hegyi B and Y Deng. 2017. "Dynamical and thermodynamical impacts of high- and low-frequency atmospheric eddies on the initial melt of Arctic sea ice." Journal of Climate, 30(3), 10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0366.1.


Persson P, M Shupe, D Perovich, and A Solomon. 2016. "Linking atmospheric synoptic transport, cloud phase, surface energy fluxes, and sea-ice growth: observations of midwinter SHEBA conditions." Climate Dynamics, 49(4), 10.1007/s00382-016-3383-1.

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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