News & Events

Noon seminar - Sea ice predictability in a rapidly changing Arctic environment

Monday, February 07, 2011, 12:00PM - 1:00PM


Marika Holland

National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)


ARC 620

Seasonal predictions of Arctic sea ice have typically been based on statistical regression models or on results from ensemble ice model forecasts driven by historical atmospheric forcing. However, in the rapidly changing Arctic environment, the predictability characteristics of summer ice cover could undergo important transformations. Here global coupled climate model simulations are used to assess the changing role of predictors for end of summer Arctic ice cover.

Additional model experiments are run to investigate the inherent predictability of Arctic sea ice conditions on seasonal to interannual timescales. The role of preconditioning of the ice cover versus intrinsic variations in determining sea ice conditions is examined using ensemble experiments initialized in January with identical ice-ocean-terrestrial conditions. Three sets of initial conditions are employed to determine the role of changing climate conditions for sea ice predictability characteristics. Finally, the sources of uncertainty for predictability on longer (decadal-century) timescales is discussed.