Dr. Igor Polyakov

The primary focus of my recent research is climate change and variability in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. My high-latitude climate studies focus on polar amplification of global warming, long-term variability of the Arctic atmosphere, ice, and ocean, their interconnections, and linkages with the lower latitude processes. Previously my work has addressed problems of high-latitude tides, their interactions with ice, and contribution of tides to general oceanic circulation and structure of large-scale oceanic fields. I also lead a big observational program called NABOS (Nansen and Amundsen Basins Observational System) which provides an assessment of circulation, water mass transformations, and key mechanisms of variability in the Arctic Ocean on a broad range of time scales. NABOS observations were imperative for detecting and tracking exceptionally strong recent warming of the Arctic Ocean. These observations suggest that the Arctic Ocean is in transition towards a new, warmer state.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Courses Taught

 ATM F445/645 Atmospheric Dynamics
 ATM F610 Analysis Methods in Meteorology and Climate
 ATM F658 Air-Sea Interactions


Arctic, climate change, physical oceanography



  •  Lead logistical/data support to national and international communities for NABOS
  • Participation of the COSMOS career event annually
  • Interviewed by numerous national and international mass media representatives
  • Participant of press conference during Arctic Science Summit Week, March 2016


  • Organizer of All-IARC meeting in 2016 and organizing committee member in 2019
  • Unit promotion committee Chair in 2015 and 2017 and Committee member in 2019
  • Gave an open lecture to Japanese students for “Atmospheric Dynamics” in 2016


  • Lead Guest Editor, Special Issue, Japanese journal Polar Science, 2013-2014
  • Lead Guest Editor, Special Issue “Arctic Climate Change Indicators”, Environmental Research Letter, 2018-present
  • Reviewer of 40 papers and 13 US and two international proposals; awarded an Honorary certificate of the American Meteorological Society for serving as a reviewer for their journals in 2018
  • Opponent for two PhD Thesis defenses (Sweden and Norway), a Defense committee member for one PhD Thesis defense (Russia) and a reviewer of one Doctoral Thesis (Cremia)
  • Organizer of NABOS Workshop “Observations of upper-ocean and sea-ice interactions in the eastern Arctic Ocean”, Arlington, VA, 2014