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Predictability of the Arctic sea ice edge


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Goessling, H. F., Tietsche, S., Day, J. J., Hawkins, E. and Jung, T. (2016) Predictability of the Arctic sea ice edge. Geophysical Research Letters, 43 (4). pp. 1642-1650. ISSN 0094-8276

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/2015GL067232


Skillful sea ice forecasts from days to years ahead are becoming increasingly important for the operation and planning of human activities in the Arctic. Here we analyze the potential predictability of the Arctic sea ice edge in six climate models. We introduce the integrated ice-edge error (IIEE), a user-relevant verification metric defined as the area where the forecast and the “truth” disagree on the ice concentration being above or below 15%. The IIEE lends itself to decomposition into an absolute extent error, corresponding to the common sea ice extent error, and a misplacement error. We find that the often-neglected misplacement error makes up more than half of the climatological IIEE. In idealized forecast ensembles initialized on 1 July, the IIEE grows faster than the absolute extent error. This means that the Arctic sea ice edge is less predictable than sea ice extent, particularly in September, with implications for the potential skill of end-user relevant forecasts.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:65640
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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