A

Summary of Recent and Evolving Arctic Sea Ice Predictability Efforts

(Provided to workshop participants as background information)

Forecasts of the sea ice minimum in summer have been collected and synthesized in the Study for Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) Sea Ice Outlook (ARCUS, 2010) since 2008, with several research groups in the United States, Canada, and Europe participating. The methods used by these groups vary, with some groups using models, some statistical methods, and others deterministic methods. Overall the goal of the SEARCH Sea Ice Outlook is not to issue sea ice predictions themselves, but to summarize and synthesize available information from the scientific community on the expected September Arctic sea ice minimum.

A related activity is the Arctic Observing Coordination Workshop, which was held in March 2012. The workshop was organized around the SEARCH 5-Year Science Goals and Objectives focusing on sea ice, permafrost, land-ice, and society/policy. The workshop participants concluded that the use of ocean observations to improve sea ice forecasting on various timescales (daily, seasonal, interannual, and decadal) would lead to safe marine operations, infrastructure/community planning, and ecosystem stewardship in the Arctic.

The increased user-demand for sea ice predictions coupled with the current lack of operational sea ice forecasting capability have also sparked two National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) workshops in 2010 and 2011 (NOAA, 2011), which were tasked with identifying actions NOAA could take over the next few years (2012-2014) to improve its sea ice forecasting capability. The report recommended that the Sea Ice Outlook should not only continue, but should also be converted to a formal program, potentially adding fall freeze-up dates and more detailed regional forecasts to the current predictions of the Arctic-wide sea ice minimum. Further improvements of sea ice models and coupled simulations are also needed to investigate the predictability of sea ice on decadal timescales.

The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) also recommended several actions related to Arctic sea ice in its “SWIPA 2011 Executive Summary” (AMAP, 2011) including: maintaining and supporting development of remote sensing methods for observing the cryosphere; expanding research into processes that are important for modeling the cryosphere; and



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A Summary of Recent and Evolving Arctic Sea Ice Predictability Efforts (Provided to workshop participants as background information) Forecasts of the sea ice minimum in The increased user-demand for sea ice summer have been collected and synthesized predictions coupled with the current lack of in the Study for Environmental Arctic operational sea ice forecasting capability Change (SEARCH) Sea Ice Outlook have also sparked two National Oceanic and (ARCUS, 2010) since 2008, with several Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research groups in the United States, workshops in 2010 and 2011 (NOAA, 2011), Canada, and Europe participating. The which were tasked with identifying actions methods used by these groups vary, with NOAA could take over the next few years some groups using models, some statistical (2012-2014) to improve its sea ice methods, and others deterministic methods. forecasting capability. The report Overall the goal of the SEARCH Sea Ice recommended that the Sea Ice Outlook Outlook is not to issue sea ice predictions should not only continue, but should also be themselves, but to summarize and synthesize converted to a formal program, potentially available information from the scientific adding fall freeze-up dates and more community on the expected September detailed regional forecasts to the current Arctic sea ice minimum. predictions of the Arctic-wide sea ice A related activity is the Arctic Observing minimum. Further improvements of sea ice Coordination Workshop, which was held in models and coupled simulations are also March 2012. The workshop was organized needed to investigate the predictability of sea around the SEARCH 5-Year Science Goals ice on decadal timescales. and Objectives focusing on sea ice, The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment permafrost, land-ice, and society/policy. The Program (AMAP) also recommended workshop participants concluded that the several actions related to Arctic sea ice in its use of ocean observations to improve sea ice "SWIPA 2011 Executive Summary" (AMAP, forecasting on various timescales (daily, 2011) including: maintaining and seasonal, interannual, and decadal) would supporting development of remote sensing lead to safe marine operations, methods for observing the cryosphere; infrastructure/community planning, and expanding research into processes that are ecosystem stewardship in the Arctic. important for modeling the cryosphere; and 61

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62 Appendix A making accurate forecasts for ice, weather, Change Task Force" (ARCUS, 2010) and sea conditions accessible to all Arctic concluded that there must be a clear residents and organizations. understanding in the scientific community Several organizations have focused their of what planners and decision makers efforts on marine operations in the Arctic. require for predictions to be useful, and the An Arctic Roadmap report (US Navy, 2009) scientific community must communicate the from the US Navy Task Force Climate current predictive capabilities in clear and Change outlined a 5-year plan for Navy useful ways to stakeholders, while also operations and research in the Arctic. The quantifying and explaining uncertainties report recommended the identification of a related to them. high-confidence timeline for increased Many of the recommendations from a access to the Arctic. It also recommended 2010 report from the US Arctic Research that the potential for developing high- Commission (USARC, 2010) focused on resolution coupled, air-ocean-ice, prediction stakeholder needs for sea ice forecasts. The capability for the Arctic region be evaluated. report notes that there is a need for The Arctic Council's Arctic Marine communication between scientists, Shipping Assessment 2009 Report (Arctic operational forecasting centers, and Council, 2009) focused on current and stakeholders. The decision-making future marine activity in the Arctic Ocean. community needs to clearly articulate the The report called for research to improve space and time domains over which it needs regional models for increased understanding actionable scientific information and the and enhanced forecasting of regional Arctic science community needs to assess its sea ice variability. Also noted is the need for readiness to provide this knowledge. These comprehensive analyses of current and various communities should also hold future global climate model simulations of forums on the issue of uncertainty and how Arctic sea ice extent to quantitatively assess to interpret and use these estimates in a the range of plausibility of ice-free and proactive and positive manner. partially ice-covered conditions. The report Some efforts at increasing also noted the importance of continued communication between different scientific research on Arctic sea ice thickness communities have already been made. atmosphere ocean ice forecasting. The Observational and modeling communities Assessment also noted the importance of met to discuss future needs for sea ice enhanced ice forecasting and prediction to research at the Climate and Cryosphere improving Arctic marine safety and (CliC) workshop in November 2011. These environmental protection (Arctic Council, discussions sparked the creation of two 2009). white papers, outlining the observational Several reports discuss the need for needs for advancing sea ice modeling improved communications and increased (Massonnet and Jahn, 2012) and polar stakeholder-involvement. A 2010 workshop climate modeling (Kay et al., 2012) as well as by the SEARCH "Understanding Arctic

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Appendix A 63 highlighting some of the challenges of models in polar regions. Available at comparing models with observations. http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/staff/jenkay/pc The World Climate Research Program wg/PCWG_workingdoc_obs4modelers_ (WCRP) workshops on sea ice predictability, march13,2012.pdf, accessed June 5, 2012. which occurred in 2010 (WCRP, 2010) and Massonnet, F., and A. Jahn. 2012. in April 2012, brought together scientists Observational needs for sea ice models. from the modeling and observational sea ice Available at http://www.astr.ucl.ac.be/ communities. The aim of the workshops was users/fmasson/obs_CLIC_note.pdf, the development of a draft implementation accessed June 5, 2012. plan for a WCRP polar climate predictability NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric initiative (WCRP, 2012). Association). NOAA Sea Ice Forecasting--Workshop Summary. Available at http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/ REFERENCES docs/NOAA_Sea_Ice_Forecasting_Wor kshop_Summary.pdf, accessed June 5, AMAP (Arctic Monitoring and Assessment 2012. Programme). Snow, Water, Ice and University of Alaska Fairbanks--University Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA) of the Arctic Institute for Applied Executive Summary 2011. Available at Circumpolar Policy. 2009. Considering a http://amap.no/swipa/SWIPA2011Execu Roadmap Forward: The Arctic Marine tiveSummaryV2.pdf, accessed June 5, Shipping Assessment: Workshop Report, 2012. L. W. Brigham and M. P. Sfraga, eds. Arctic Council. 2009. Arctic Marine Available at http://www.uarctic.org/ Shipping Assessment 2009. Project AMSA_workshop_report_final_09.2010 Report. Protection of the Arctic Marine _-3FYy.pdf.file, accessed June 5, 2012. Environment Working Group. Available USARC (U.S. Arctic Research Commission). at http://library.arcticportal.org/1400/ 2010. Scaling Studies in Arctic System 1/AMSA_2009_Report_2nd_print.pdf. Science and Policy Support: A Call-to- ARCUS (Arctic Research Consortium of the Research, C. J. Vorosmarty, A. D. United States). 2010. Sea Ice Outlook. McGuire, and J. E. Hobbie, eds. Available at http://www.arcus.org/ Available at search/seaiceoutlook/index.php, http://www.arctic.gov/publications/arcti accessed November 8, 2012. c_scaling.pdf, accessed June 5, 2012. ARCUS. Understanding Arctic Change U.S. Navy. 2009. U.S. Navy Arctic Roadmap. Workshop, September 29-October 1, Available at http://www.navy.mil/ 2010. Available at http://www.arcus.org/ navydata/documents/USN_artic_roadm search/meetings/2010/understanding- ap.pdf, accessed June 5, 2011. arctic-change. Accessed June 5, 2012. WCRP (World Climate Research Kay, J. E., G. de Boer, and E. Hunke. 2012. Programme). 2010. WCRP Workshop on On the observational needs for climate

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64 Appendix A Seasonal to Multi-Decadal Predictability accessed June 5, 2012. of Polar Climate, October 25-29, 2010, WCRP. 2012. WCRP/IASC Polar Climate Bergen, Norway. T.G. Shepherd, J. M. Predictability Workshop, 2-4 April 2012, Arblaster, C. M. Bitz, T. Furevik, H. Toronto, Canada. Available at Goosse,V. M. Kattsov, J. Marshall, V. http://www.atmosp.physics.utoronto.ca/ Ryabinin, and J. E. Walsh, eds. Available C-SPARC/Polar-WS-website/Polar- at http://www.wcrp-climate.org/ Workshop.html. Last modified February documents/Polar_WCRP_Report.pdf, 28, 2012.