Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Arctic Sea Ice Forecasts Very Ominous

Long range forecasts concerning Arctic sea ice are pretty ominous, with the above image showing as little as 3 million square kilometers of sea ice present just 100 days away.

The image above, from Steven Cavallo, shows the latest ensemble forecast of sea ice over the Arctic as far as 100 days out. We see a plot of the average sea ice values over the next 100 days, and the ensemble prediction superimposed on it. The ensembles take the sea ice values at below normal levels in the next month before really dropping off after the 30 day mark. From the beginning of June onwards, it is predicted that the Arctic will have sea ice levels less than half the typical values for that time of year.

In the very long range, this could impact the winter by not being able to hold as much sea ice, and thus allowing the Arctic Circle to be warmer than normal. This could then allow the polar vortex to weaken, which in turn may move to the lower latitudes at points during the winter. Bear in mind a LOT needs to happen before we can get that sequence underway, but this is a good first step for those wanting to see the polar vortex weaken into winter.


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