There it is, the first Sea Ice Outlook of this year. The SIO is organized by the interagency "system-scale, cross-disciplinary, long-term arctic research program" SEARCH (Study of Environmental Arctic Change), and is a compilation of projections for the September 2012 Arctic sea ice extent, based on NSIDC monthly extent values. These projections are submitted by professionals as well as amateurs, such as our own Chris Randles and Larry Hamilton.
Here's the summary for the June report:
With 19 responses for the Pan-Arctic Outlook (plus 6 regional Outlook contributions), the June Sea Ice Outlook projects a September 2012 arctic sea extent median value of 4.4 million square kilometers, with quartiles of 4.3 and 4.7 million square kilometers (Figure 1) [The median value for the 2011 June SIO was 4.7 million square km, N.]. This compares to observed September values of 4.6 in 2011, 4.9 in 2010, and 5.4 in 2009. Both the 2012 quartile values and the range (4.1 to 4.9) are quite narrow. The 2012 June Outlook differs from all previous Outlooks in that there are no projections of extent greater than 5.0. It is always important to note for context that all 2012 estimates are well below the 1979–2007 September mean of 6.7 million square kilometers.
And here's the figure showing all the projections (click for a larger version):
These are the September monthly average minimums in the 2005-2011 period:
- 2005: 5.57 million square km
- 2006: 5.92 million square km
- 2007: 4.30 million square km
- 2008: 4.73 million square km
- 2009: 5.39 million square km
- 2010: 4.93 million square km
- 2011: 4.61 million square km
And remember that there's a poll on this blog (in the right hand bar) for the NSIDC 2012 minimum monthly/September sea ice extent. There's another poll as well for this year's Cryosphere Today minimum daily sea ice area. These polls run until June 30th (you can re-vote if you wish by going to the poll directly) and I'll post the results when the SEARCH July report comes out. Check out this blog post for more info on the difference between the two polls.