August Call for Sea Ice Outlook Contributions

August Call for Sea Ice Outlook Contributions
August Report (Based on May, June, and July data)
Submission deadline: 6:00 p.m. (AKDT) Monday, 13 August 2018 (firm)
Please follow the 2018 NEW SUBMISSION PROCESS guidelines, detailed below.
Questions can be directed to: Betsy Turner-Bogren, betsy [at]


The Sea Ice Prediction Network (SIPN) announces the call for contributions for the 2018 Sea Ice Outlook August report. The Sea Ice Outlook provides an open process for those interested in Arctic sea ice to share ideas. The monthly reports contain a variety of perspectives—from advanced numerical models to qualitative perspectives from citizen scientists. A Post-Season Interim Report, with focus on performance of Outlooks as compared to sea ice minimum, will be generated at the end of the retreat season. The Post-Season Final Report, which will provide analysis and discussion of factors driving sea ice extent and further explore the scientific methods for predicting seasonal conditions, will be published in early 2019.

Pan-Arctic and Alaska Regional Sea Ice Extent Outlooks and any additional figures and gridded fields will be accepted for the 2018 August Outlook. We particularly encourage submissions for the Alaska region (i.e., Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas). Submissions that include spatial forecast maps are also encouraged. The 2018 SIO will also accept pan-Antarctic sea ice extent of the September monthly mean.

New this year, we strongly encourage all participants whose methods provide information at the local scale to provide full spatial fields via the new SIPN Data Portal, so we can compute metrics such as sea ice probability and first ice-free day for you, as well as additional regional analysis for the Sea Ice Outlook.

Detailed guidelines for contributions are below. We encourage all past contributors to submit Outlooks this year and we also hope to see new participants. Sea Ice Outlook data resources are available via the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) SIPN Data Set webpage.

In addition to the contributions for the monthly reports, we are also accepting "informal contributions" throughout the season that do not otherwise fit into the monthly report format. These informal contributions could include information on fall freeze-up data, sea ice observations, and parameters other than extent and/or for other time periods than what is included in the regular monthly reports. Informal contributions should be sent via email to sio2018 [at]

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 6:00 p.m. (AKDT) Monday, 13 August 2018 (firm). Contributions received after the deadline may not be fully incorporated into the Outlook report or discussion.

Questions may be directed to Betsy Turner-Bogren, ARCUS (betsy [at]

Submission Process

  • Required core information for Pan-Arctic Outlook projections using dynamical model, statistical, heuristic, and mixed methods will be collected via an online web form. If you'd like to receive a link that allows you to update and edit a past submission, please email Betsy (betsy [at]
  • Contributors have the option of submitting additional Outlook report details, including discussions and details related to uncertainties/probabilities, via the same online web form.
  • Contributors who want to share supplemental information such as figures, images, references, or further information about their methods are invited to submit via Dropbox. Please email Betsy Turner-Bogren (betsy [at] for the link to Dropbox.
  • Submissions of spatial field sea ice forecasts (full raw fields or post-processed fields) will be collected via a new SIPN Data Portal. Please see further instructions below.
  • Note: If either the online form or Dropbox are not workable options, files may be sent via email to: sio2018 [at]

Submission Fields in Online Form

For your information, below are the fields in the online form.
Responses to Sections 1-6 are required, as indicated with an asterisk * Response to question 7 is required if sea ice concentration or sea ice thickness are used.

Section 1*: What is the type of your Outlook projection?

a) Check for: _____Dynamic Model, _____Statistical, _____Heuristic, _____Mixed, _____Other
b) Please specify the name of the model as a whole and each component including version numbers and how the component is initialized.

Section 2*: We are again accepting both pan-Arctic and pan-Antarctic sea ice extent (either one or both) of the September monthly mean. As in 2016 and 2017, we are also collecting Alaskan regional sea ice extent. To be consistent with the validating sea ice extent index from NSIDC, if possible, please first compute the average sea ice concentration for the month and then compute the extent as the sum of cell areas > 15%.

a) Pan-Arctic September extent prediction in million square kilometers.
b) Same as in (a) but for pan-Antarctic. If your method differs substantially from that for the Arctic, please enter it as a separate submission.
c) Same as in (b) but for the Alaskan region. Please also tell us maximum possible extent if every ocean cell in your region were ice covered. (see further instructions below)

Section 3*: Contributor name(s)

a) Name of contributor or name of contributing organization.
Note: this is how we'll label your contribution in the report, see a past report for examples such as 2017 June Report.
b) Name and organization for all contributors. Indicate primary contact and total number of people who may have contributed to your Outlook, even if not included on the author list.

If this a contribution from a person or group not affiliated with a research organization please check this box:
_____Yes, this contribution is from a "Citizen Scientist."

Section 4*: Do you want your June contribution to automatically be included in subsequent reports? (If yes, you may still update your contribution via the online form.)
____ Yes, automatically include my contributions in July and August 2018.
____ No, do not use my prediction this month in later months.

Section 5*: "Executive summary" of your Outlook contribution (using 300 words or less) describe how and why your contribution was formulated. To the extent possible, use non-technical language.

Section 6*: Brief explanation of Outlook method (using 300 words or less).

Section 7:
a) Tell us the dataset used for your initial Sea Ice Concentration (SIC). Include source (e.g., which data center), name (algorithm), DOI and/or data set website, and date (e.g., “NSIDC NASA Team,,”).
b) Tell us the dataset used for your initial Sea Ice Thickness (SIT) used. Include name and date.

Response to Section 8 questions a), b), and c) are optional, but answers are encouraged.

Section 8: If available from your method.

a) Uncertainty/probability estimates:
Median: ___________
Ranges: ___________
Standard deviations: ___________
b) Brief explanation/assessment of basis for the uncertainty (1-2 sentences).
c) Brief description of any post processing you have done (1-2 sentences).

Instructions for Submitting an Alaskan Regional Outlook

Please submit a total extent for the Alaskan region, defined here as the combination of the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas. If possible, use the definition from the NSIDC Arctic sea ice regional graphs and time series from the mask below, which is on the 25km by 25km polar stereographic projection used for the passive microwave satellite data. For questions about the format or this request, please contact Julienne Stroeve (stroeve [at]

The mask is provided as a netcdf file here NSIDC Regional Mask (NC - 2 MB).

Please enter your submission via the online form under item 2c:

Also tell us the maximum possible ice extent if every ocean cell in your region were ice covered. For example, if your model uses exactly the same grid as the satellite data, the area would be 4.00x106 km2. The maximum possible extent is probably much larger than your actual Alaskan Regional Outlook. Be sure to exclude land and islands. Finally, with your entry to item 2c, please include how you defined the Alaskan region: either say NSIDC definition, or if you must use your own definition, describe it. If you skip this step but provide full fields to the new SIPN data portal (see next section), we’ll compute an Alaskan regional outlook for you.

NSIDC Regional MaskNSIDC Regional Mask

Full Field of Sea Ice Forecasts Submission to New SIPN Data Portal

We strongly encourage all participants whose methods provide information at the local scale to provide full spatial fields. In the past, we asked you to email your analysis of sea ice probability and first ice-free day to us, but now we are requesting full raw fields (you may additionally submit post processed fields) so we can compute these metrics for you, as well as additional regional analysis for the Sea Ice Outlook. See Example.

Please email Nic Wayand (nicway [at] so we can arrange a way (ideally automated) to acquire your fields. We will send you instructions by email.

By the end of 2018, the data portal will allow the SIPN community to access the data portal to conduct their own analysis of data that are deemed sharable by the participant who contributed the data.

Associated Effort – Sea Ice Drift Forecast Experiment

Contributions are also invited to the Sea Ice Drift Forecast Experiment (SIDFEx, 2017-2020) - a community effort to collect and analyze Arctic sea ice drift forecasts at lead times from days to a year based on arbitrary methods for a number of sea-ice buoys and, ultimately, the MOSAiC Drift. SIDFEx is aligned with the SIO such that modelling groups contributing to the Sea Ice Outlook can contribute to SIDFEx relatively easily by computing trajectories for Lagrangian tracers. Last year’s results have been described briefly in the 2017 post-season report.

See details

Tentative Schedule For Sea Ice Outlook 2018 Reports

JUNE REPORT: (Based on May data)
- 25 May 2018 (Friday): Call for Contributions for June Report
- 11 June 2018 (Monday): Contributions Due for June Report
- 20 June 2018 (Wednesday): June Report Released

JULY REPORT: (Based on May and June data)
- 29 June 2018 (Friday): Call for Contributions for July Report
- 11 July 2018 (Wednesday): Contributions Due for July Report
- 20 July 2018 (Friday): July Report Released

AUGUST REPORT: (Based on May, June, and July data)
- 27 July 2018 (Friday): Call for Contributions for August Report
- 13 August (Monday) 2018: Contributions Due for August Report
- 22 August (Wednesday) 2018: August Report Released

- Focus on performance of Outlooks as compared to sea ice minimum.
- Developed following the conclusion of the retreat season.
- Published in mid- to late-October 2018.

- Analysis and discussion of factors driving sea ice extent during the 2018 melt season.
- Developed during November – December 2018.
- Published early January 2019