How predictable are Arctic sea ice conditions?

Published: 2018
Product type: Science Brief
Categories: Sea Ice

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Improved predictions of Arctic sea ice conditions are important to numerous stakeholders. Understanding opportunities to advance predictive capabilities, as well as inherent limitations, is necessary to develop optimal prediction products across different user communities, regions, and timeframes.

Why it matters

With large-scale loss of sea ice, marine access to the Arctic Ocean has increased. Yet, despite ice loss, the Arctic remains a remote and harsh environment with hazardous extreme events. More accurate prediction of sea ice conditions helps to:

  • Reduce the risk of human and environmental disasters by those navigating the marine environment, including Indigenous hunters, the shipping industry, search and rescue personnel, and tourism industry.
  • Minimize @inancial risks and improve logistics for operations that move resources and supplies in and out of the Arctic, such as oil, gas, and mining industries as well as northern village supply operations.
  • Inform long-term planning by decision-makers working on Arctic infrastructure, national security strategies, and conservation planning.
  • Improve prediction of weather, including atmosphere and ocean conditions.