Sea Ice Outlook: June Report

Release Date: 
16 July 2008

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The outlook for the pan-arctic sea ice extent in September 2008, based on June data, indicates a continuation of dramatic sea ice loss. The June Sea Ice Outlook report is based on a synthesis of 17 individual projections, utilizing a range of methods. Projections based on June data are similar to those of the May report, with no indication that a return to historical sea ice extent will occur this year.

The range of responses were from 2.9 to 5.6 million square kilometers, which is in part due to the relative weight respondents give to "initial conditions" (e.g., age and thickness of sea ice at the end of spring) versus whether summer winds in 2008 will be as supportive for ice loss as was the case in 2007.

Formatting revised - 29 September 2008Formatting revised - 29 September 2008

Of the 17 responses, all suggest that the extent will remain lower than the historical average (i.e., mean 1979–2000 September values) of 7.0 million square kilometers. Five (5) responses suggested a less dramatic loss than in 2007 (i.e., 4.3 million square kilometers) and closer to the pre-2007 long-term trend of approximately 10% loss per decade. Five (5) anticipate a repeat of the dramatic loss of 2007. Four (4) suggest a loss even greater than that experienced in 2007. Three (3) give more detailed reports on regional trends.