Sea Ice Outlook | Background

The Sea Ice Outlook (SIO), an effort managed by the Sea Ice Prediction Network–Phase 2 (SIPN2), provides an open process for those interested in Arctic sea ice to share predictions and ideas. The Outlook is not an operational forecast.

The SIO effort originally emerged from discussions at the "Arctic Observation Integration Workshops" held March 2008 in Palisades, NY, as a response by the scientific community to the need for better understanding of the Arctic sea ice system, given the drastic and unexpected sea ice decline witnessed in 2007. The SIO was supported by SEARCH from 2008 — 2013, and by the Sea Ice Prediction Network (SIPN) during 2014-2017. SIPN2 builds on the success of those efforts


  • The Sea Ice Outlook produces monthly reports during the Arctic sea ice retreat season. Monthly reports are based on an open and inclusive process that synthesizes input from a broad range of perspectives—from advanced numerical models to qualitative perspectives from citizen scientists.
  • Post-Season Interim Reports, with focus on performance of Outlooks as compared to sea ice minimum, are generated at the end of the retreat season.
  • Post-Season Final Reports, which provide analysis and discussion of factors driving sea ice extent and further explore the scientific methods for predicting seasonal conditions, are published in early in the following year.
  • All past contributors are encouraged to submit Outlooks each season and new participants are also invited.

For further details, please see the 2020 July Call for SIO Contributions.

Sea Ice Outlook Reports are a product of the Sea Ice Prediction Network–Phase 2 (SIPN2), which is supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. OPP-1748308. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.