Model forecast skill and sensitivity to initial conditions in the seasonal Sea Ice Outlook
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Model forecast skill and sensitivity to initial conditions in the seasonal Sea Ice Outlook

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  • NOAA Program & Office:
  • Description:
    We explore the skill of predictions of September Arctic sea ice extent from dynamical models participating in the Sea Ice Outlook (SIO). Forecasts submitted in August, at roughly 2month lead times, are skillful. However, skill is lower in forecasts submitted to SIO, which began in 2008, than in hindcasts (retrospective forecasts) of the last few decades. The multimodel mean SIO predictions offer slightly higher skill than the single-model SIO predictions, but neither beats a damped persistence forecast at longer than 2 month lead times. The models are largely unsuccessful at predicting each other, indicating a large difference in model physics and/or initial conditions. Motivated by this, we perform an initial condition sensitivity experiment with four SIO models, applying a fixed -1m perturbation to the initial sea ice thickness. The significant range of the response among the models suggests that different model physics make a significant contribution to forecast uncertainty.
  • Source:
    Geophysical Research Letters, 42(19), 8042-8048.
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