Mechanisms influencing seasonal to inter-annual prediction skill of sea ice extent in the Arctic Ocean in MIROC

Ono, Jun; Tatebe, Hiroaki; Komuro, Yoshiki; Nodzu, Masato I.; Ishii, Masayoshi

To assess the skill of seasonal to inter-annual predictions of the detrended sea ice extent in the Arctic Ocean (SIEinline-formulaAO) and to clarify the underlying physical processes, we conducted ensemble hindcasts, started on 1 January, 1 April, 1 July and 1 October for each year from 1980 to 2011, for lead times up to three years, using the Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate (MIROC) version 5 initialised with the observed atmosphere and ocean anomalies and sea ice concentration. Significant skill is found for the winter months: the December SIEinline-formulaAO can be predicted up to 11 months ahead (anomaly correlation coefficient is 0.42). This skill might be attributed to the subsurface ocean heat content originating in the North Atlantic. A plausible mechanism is as follows: the subsurface water flows into the Barents Sea from spring to fall and emerges at the surface in winter by vertical mixing, and eventually affects the sea ice variability there. Meanwhile, the September SIEinline-formulaAO predictions are skillful for lead times of up to two months, due to the persistence of sea ice in the Beaufort, Chukchi, and East Siberian seas initialised in July, as suggested by previous studies.

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Ono, Jun / Tatebe, Hiroaki / Komuro, Yoshiki / et al: Mechanisms influencing seasonal to inter-annual prediction skill of sea ice extent in the Arctic Ocean in MIROC. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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