2012 Sea Ice Outlook: July Reports Available

11 July 2012

Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH)

For further information and to view the Pan-Arctic and Regional reports,
please go to: http://www.arcus.org/search/seaiceoutlook/2012/july

Or contact:
Helen Wiggins, SEARCH Project Office, ARCUS
Email: helen@arcus.org

The July SEARCH Sea Ice Outlook reports are now available! The
Pan-Arctic Summary, Full Pan-Arctic Outlook, and Regional Outlook are
available at: http://www.arcus.org/search/seaiceoutlook/2012/july.

With 21 responses for the Pan-Arctic Outlook, the July Sea Ice Outlook
projects a September 2012 arctic sea extent median value of 4.6 million
square kilometers. The consensus is for continued low values of
September sea ice extent. It is important to note for context that the
estimates are well below the 1979-2007 September mean of 6.7 million
square kilometers. The quartiles for July are 4.2 and 4.7 million square
kilometers, a rather narrow range given that the uncertainty of
individual estimates are on the order of 0.5 million square kilometers.
This is also a narrower range than last year, which was 4.0 to 5.5. The
July Outlook is generally similar to the June Outlook; the July median
is higher by 0.2 million square kilometers than the June estimate, but
the quartiles are similar.

Just after the June Outlook was completed (based on May data), arctic
sea ice extent briefly set record daily rates of loss. In June we saw
the second-most cumulative loss in the satellite record since 1979,
behind the record minimum extent for June in 2010. We also saw cases of
early melt in some regions. The culprit for the rapid sea ice loss in
early June was again the presence of the Arctic Dipole (AD) pressure
pattern, but the pattern shifted towards the end of the month and ice
loss slowed.

In addition to the Pan-Arctic Outlooks, there were five contributions to
the July Regional Outlook report. The regional outlooks shed light on
the uncertainties associated with the estimates in the Pan-Arctic
Outlook by providing more detail at the regional scale, including the
Northwest Passage and Hudson Bay/Hudson Strait shipping routes,
Beaufort/Chukchi Seas, the Canadian Archipelago/Nares Strait, and
Barents/Greenland Seas.

The SEARCH Sea Ice Outlook produces monthly reports throughout the
summer that synthesize projections of the expected sea ice minimum, at
both pan-arctic and regional scales.

For background on the Sea Ice Outlook, see the main Outlook website at:

Or contact:
Helen Wiggins, SEARCH Project Office, ARCUS
Email: helen@arcus.org

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