The second Sea Ice Outlook of this year has been published. The SIO is organized by the Sea Ice Prediction Network (as part of the Arctic research program 'Study of Environmental Arctic Change', or SEARCH), and is a compilation of projections for the September 2016 Arctic sea ice extent, based on NSIDC monthly extent values. These projections are submitted by professionals as well as amateurs (public outlooks).
Here's the summary for the July report:
This month the median pan-Arctic extent Outlook for September 2016 sea ice extent is 4.3 million square kilometers (essentially unchanged from June) with quartiles of 4.1 and 4.6 million square kilometers (See Figure 1 in the full report, below). If the median Outlook should agree with the observed estimate come September, this year would be the third lowest September in the satellite record. The spread in the Outlook contributions narrowed slightly from June to July, with an overall range this month of 3.6 to 5.2 million square kilometers.
The full range of Outlooks submitted this month lies within the range of the 10 lowest years of sea ice extent in the observational record. No Outlook is predicting a new record this year, despite the warm winter, record low extents for every month in 2016 except March, and evidence of thin ice in spring. Does this mean it won't be a record? Meteorological conditions suggest not, as surface temperature over the central Arctic has been near normal in the last month and forecasts of atmospheric circulation for the next few weeks suggest near normal surface temperature in the near future. At the same time, the subpolar seas are warmer than average and the land surrounding the Arctic Ocean has been warm and both are projected to continue to be warm in August and September. Finally, we note that no Outlook predicted a record low in 2012 either, and as a whole, the Outlooks tend to be miss the extreme low and high years compared to the long-term trend.
And here's the figure showing all the projections (click for a larger version):
The September minimums for the last 11 years (in million km2, found here):