STRATEGIES FOR THE FUTURE
• Overarching Strategy
o A Deliberately Integrated Approach for Sustained and Coordinated Collaboration Among User, Modeling, and Observation Communities. - A deliberately integrated approach is needed to facilitate coordinated and sustained discussions and collaborations among the user, modeling, and observation communities to inform effective research activities and to set realistic expectations for predictions. Such an approach would need to take full advantage of existing infrastructure and draw from comparable efforts in other fields.
• Strategies to Improve Sea Ice Predictive Capabilities: Seasonal to Decadal Timescales
o Evaluation of Existing Seasonal Prediction Methods. - A coordinated and detailed comparison of the different approaches used to generate seasonal sea ice forecasts could establish baseline expectations for predictive skill and identify priority needs, setting the stage for advances in predictive capability.
o Process-Based Studies Targeted at Increasingly Prevalent First-Year Ice Cover. - Questions surrounding the impact of the trend toward an increasingly seasonal Arctic sea ice cover could be addressed with the development of a highly coordinated and integrated process-based study, analogous to Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (SHEBA) project, focused on understanding oceanic, atmospheric, and terrestrial contributions to seasonal sea ice predictions.
o Model Sensitivity Studies to Determine Key, First-Order Observational Needs. - There is a particular need at this time for a coordinated effort to design and implement a set of model sensitivity studies that will provide quantitative metrics to assess the impact of various observation types, locations, and densities on seasonal sea ice forecasts.
o Enhanced Numerical Model Capabilities. - Enhancement of model-based predictive capabilities will require coordinated experiments to (a) identify which variables and processes are critical to simulating a realistic ice cover, (b) investigate the source of climate model drift, and (c) guide decisions regarding high-priority model development needs and the expansion of models to include capabilities and additional variables of interest to stakeholders.
• Knowledge Management
o Improved Information and Data Management. - Given the vast amounts of disparate data on Arctic sea ice and the numerous stakeholders who use these data, there is a need for a coordinated and centralized information hub for Arctic datasets that facilitates the timely access to observational and modeling results, and encourages sustained communication among stakeholders.