Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton University
Title: "Arctic Sea Ice Predictability in a Changing Cryosphere"
Abstract: Forty years of satellite observations have documented a striking decline in the areal extent of Arctic sea ice. The loss of sea ice has impacts on the climate system, human populations, ecosystems, and natural environments across a broad range of spatial and temporal scales. These changes have motivated significant research interest in the predictability and prediction of Arctic sea ice on seasonal-to-interannual timescales.
In this talk, I will address three related questions: (1) What is the inherent predictability of Arctic sea ice? (2) What physical mechanisms underlie this predictability? and (3) How can this knowledge be leveraged to improve operational sea ice predictions? I will present findings on the relative roles of the ocean, sea ice, and atmosphere in controlling sea ice predictability. I will also present evidence for an Arctic spring predictability barrier, which may impose a sharp limit on our ability to make skillful predictions of the summer sea ice minimum.