The first Sea Ice Outlook of this year has been published. The SIO is now 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 2014 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 June report:
The median Outlook value for September 2014 sea ice extent is 4.7 million square kilometers with quartiles of 4.2 and 5.1 million square kilometers (See Figure 1 in the full report, below). Contributions are based on a range of methods: statistical, numerical models, estimates based on trends, and subjective information. We have a large distribution of Outlook contributions, which is not surprising given the different observed values in 2012 and 2013. The overall range is also large at 3.2 to 6.3 million square kilometers. The median outlook value is up from 4.1 million square kilometers in 2013. These values compare to observed values of 4.3 million square kilometers in 2007, 4.6 million square kilometers in 2011, 3.6 million square kilometers in 2012 and 5.4 million square kilometers in 2013. Only three outlooks this year are above the 2013 observed September extent.
As the season progresses, it will be interesting to follow the relative influences of weather (i.e., warm Arctic winter in 2013/2014 and the wind and weather through the summer) and initial conditions of the sea ice, all in the context of the long-term downward trend of sea ice extent.
Read the entire report here.
And here's the figure showing all the projections (click for a larger version):
The September minimums for the last 9 years (in millions km2, found here):