Seasonal forecasts of Arctic sea ice initialized with observations of ice thickness



[1] Seasonal forecasts of the September 2012 Arctic sea ice thickness and extent are conducted starting from 1 June 2012. An ensemble of forecasts is made with a coupled ice-ocean model. For the first time, observations of the ice thickness are used to correct the initial ice thickness distribution to improve the initial conditions. Data from two airborne campaigns are used: NASA Operation IceBridge and SIZONet. The model was advanced through April and May using reanalysis data from 2012 and for June–September it was forced with reanalysis data from the previous seven summers. The ice extent in the corrected runs averaged lower in the Pacific sector and higher in the Atlantic sector compared to control runs with no corrections. The predicted total ice extent is 4.4 +/− 0.5 M km2, 0.2 M km2 less than that made with the control runs but 0.8 M km2 higher than the observed September extent.