Arctic Sea Ice Volume: PIOMAS, Prediction, and the Perils of Extrapolation
Filed under: Arctic and Antarctic Climate modelling Climate Science — group @ 11 April 2012
Guest Commentary by Axel Schweiger, Ron Lindsay, and Cecilia Bitz
We have just passed the annual maximum in Arctic sea ice extent which always occurs sometime in March. Within a month we will reach the annual maximum in Arctic sea ice volume. After that, the sea ice will begin its course towards its annual minimum of both extent and volume in mid-September. This marks the beginning of the ritual of the annual sea ice watch that includes predictions of the extent and rank of this year’s sea ice minimum, as well as discussion about the timing of its eventual demise. One of the inputs into that discussion is the “PIOMAS” ice-ocean model output of ice volume – and in particular, some high-profile extrapolations. This is worth looking at in some detail.