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Publication Date
18 March 2022

A Review of Arctic Sea Ice Climate Predictability in Large-Scale Earth System Models



We provide a high-level review of sea ice models used for climate studies and of the recent advances made with these models to understand sea ice predictability. Models currently in use for the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project and new developments coming online that will enable enhanced predictions are discussed. Previous work indicates that seasonal sea ice can be predicted based on mechanisms associated with long-lived ice thickness or ocean heat anomalies. On longer timescales, internal climate variability is an important source of uncertainty, although anthropogenic forcing is sizable, and studies suggest that anthropogenic signals have already emerged from internal climate noise. Using new analysis from the Multi-Model Large Ensemble, we show that while models differ in the magnitude and timing of predictable signals, many ice predictability characteristics are robust across multiple models. This includes the reemergence of predictable seasonal signals in ice area and the sizable uncertainty in predictions of ice-free Arctic timing associated with internal variability.

Holland, Marika M., and Elizabeth C. Hunke. 2022. A Review Of Arctic Sea Ice Climate Predictability In Large-Scale Earth System Models. Rockville, Maryland: Oceanography. doi:10.5670/oceanog.2022.113.
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