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Arctic Sea Ice Forecast

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2020 Third report

Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo

Predicted sea ice cover on September 10, 2020.
Figure1:Predicted sea ice cover on September 10, 2020.
  • Arctic sea ice extent will be second lowest on record of 4.23 million square kilometers in mid September. It is nearly equal to the last year’s minimum area, and 14% larger than the record minimum in 2012.
Interannual change of minimum ice extent since 2003. Value of 2020 is predicted one.
Figure 2:Interannual change of minimum ice extent since 2003. Value of 2020 is predicted one.
Animation of predicted Arctic ice cover from the August 1 to the September 30.
Figure 3:Animation of predicted Arctic ice cover from the August 1 to the September 30. Yellow and green lines indicates the ice edge of the same day for 2018 and 2019.

Arctic sea ice extent will be second lowest on record of 4.23 million square kilometers in mid September. It is nearly equal to the last year’s minimum area, and 14% larger than the record minimum in 2012.

Arctic sea ice extent is at a record low for this time. It was led by the rapid ice retreat in the Siberian side. However, the rapid retreat will be slow down in August.

On the other hand, Ice cover in the Beaufort Sea will retreat rapidly in early August.


2018
2019
2020
Figure 4:Map of ice age (in day) on July 15 of 2018, 2019 and 2020. Orange-red colored area shows multiyear ice area older than 400 days. The multiyear ice area is small in 2019 and 2020.

This prediction is based on the relationship between the ice age on July 15 (as Figure 4) and ice concentration after August with considering the long-term trend of sea ice concentration. We used the data from satellite microwave sensors AMSR-E and AMSR2 for 2003-2020.

Ice prediction map is also available in Arctic Data Archive System of National Institute of Polar Research.