2016 Pre-Season and Informal Contributions


SIPN is accepting pre-season and informal contributions to the 2016 Sea Ice Outlook (SIO). These contributions will be in addition to the regular SIO monthly reports in June, July, and August that synthesize predictions for the September monthly average extent of Arctic sea ice.

Pre-season and informal contributions provide a way to share information on sea ice parameters or time periods not included in the regular monthly reports as well as any early field observations, such as unusual early season conditions. These contributions are valuable for understanding initial conditions as well as sea ice dynamics throughout the season.

Questions and contributions should be sent to Betsy Turner-Bogren at ARCUS (betsy [at] arcus.org).

Pre-Season Contributions

SIPN welcomes pre-season contributions with predictions, data, field observations, or comments on sea ice conditions that might include:

  • Submissions of regional ice-free and ice-retreat dates (e.g., first day that ice concentration in a gridded zone drops below 15% or when melt ends). We encourage contributors to include either a gridded field, or regional mean value, and a graphic image that can be displayed on the SIPN website as well as a summary of the data and methods used to make these forecast.

  • Submissions of melt pond fraction, ice thickness, and any other sea ice parameter based on early-season data that could contribute to a status summary of pre-season conditions and help inform subsequent contributions to the regular SIO monthly report.


Christian Haas, Anne Bublitz, Alec Casey, Justin Beckers, York University, Toronto, Canada. "Ice thickness in the Beaufort Sea and Northwest Passage in April 2016, and comparison with April 2015." (18 May 2016)

SIO 2016 Pre-Season Contribution - Haas et al. (PDF - 1 MB)

Abstract: Three long airborne ice thickness surveys were carried out in the Northwest Passage and Canadian Beaufort Sea by York University in early April 2016, and compared to similar surveys performed in late April 2015. Results show that ice thicknesses in the Northwest Passage were similar in both years, although there was less multiyear ice (MYI) in 2016 (Section 2.2). In the Beaufort Sea, the thickness of MYI was similar to 2016 (Section 2.1). However, due to strong divergence and export, first‐year ice (FYI) was much thinner than in 2015, giving rise to expectations of earlier FYI melt and disappearance in 2016 than in 2015. However, multiyear ice may survive as long as in 2015, and may thus retard the overall retreat of the ice edge as it did in 2015, thus somewhat mitigating the effects due to the thin FYI. Data are available for collaborations with other observationalists and modelers for initialization and validation of sea ice models and remote sensing data to improve sea ice forecasts for the 2016 summerseason (e.g. Lindsay, 2012)

Matthew Druckenmiller and Hajo Eicken. "Regional Sea Ice Outlook for the Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort Seas" (7 June 2016)
SIO 2016 Pre-Season Contribution - Druckenmiller and Eicken

Informal Contributions

SIPN welcomes informal contributions that might include:

  • Sea ice extent or maps of sea ice probability in any month—not just September.

  • Sea ice freeze-up dates (e.g., maps of first day when ice concentration >15%),

  • Seasonal climate forecasts that may help guide ice forecasts (e.g., temperature, North Atlantic Oscillation, Arctic Oscillation, El Nino Southern Oscillation).

  • Any field- or ship-based updates on ice conditions in the different regions such as sea ice morphology (e.g., concentration, ice type, floe size, thickness, snow cover, melt pond characteristics, topography), meteorology (surface measurements) and oceanography (e.g., temperature, salinity, upper ocean temperature).

  • Other information on Arctic sea ice conditions or predictions that do not otherwise fit within the regular monthly reports.

Please include a definition of the parameter(s) for which you are sending information. All types and formats of scientific contributions are welcome. Contributions may be sent in any form, including in MS Word, PDF, or email text.

Informal contributions can be accepted at anytime throughout the season and posted below.

Please note: If contributors prefer their information not be shared online please let us know when you submit, and the information will be shared only with the SIPN Leadership Team and SIO report writing groups.

Tentative Schedule for Sea Ice Outlook 2016 Monthly Reports

JUNE REPORT: (Based on May data)
27 May 2016: Call for Contributions for June Report
13 June 2016: Contributions Due for June Report
24 June 2016: June Report Released

JULY REPORT: (Based on May and June data)
29 June 2016: Call for Contributions for July Report
11 July 2016: Contributions Due for July Report
22 July 2016: July Report Released

AUGUST REPORT: (Based on May, June, and July data
27 July 2016: Call for Contributions for August Report
8 August 2016: Contributions Due for August Report
19 August 2016: August Report Released

Developed during September-November 2016
Note: A call for nominations for a post-season SIO Action Team will be circulated in early September via the SIPN mailing list: