The 2020 August Sea Ice Outlook (SIO) Report is now available online. The SIO, a product of the Sea Ice Prediction Network–Phase 2 (SIPN2), provides an open process for those interested in Arctic sea ice to share predictions and ideas. The monthly reports contain a variety of perspectives—from advanced numerical models to qualitative perspectives from citizen scientists. The Outlook is not an operational forecast.
For the 2020 August report, 39 contributions were received that included pan-Arctic predictions. Of those contributions, 10 included predictions for the Alaska Region and 7 included pan-Antarctic predictions. We received 13 submissions of sea-ice probability and 9 submissions of first ice-free date, and for the August report, ice advance dates were computed from four contributions. For 2020 we also invited contributors to submit initial conditions (sea-ice concentration and sea-ice thickness) of their forecasts to better understand how observations are being used in forecasts.
For the pan-Arctic, the median August Outlook value for September 2020 sea-ice extent is 4.30 million square kilometers, with quartiles of 4.1 and 4.5 million square kilometers. The median is close to the observed 2019 September sea-ice extent of 4.32 million square kilometers.