National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2009

International Arctic sea ice monitoring program continues into second summer

Overland, J.E., H. Eicken, W. Meier, and H. Wiggins

Eos Trans. AGU, 90(37), 321–322, doi: 10.1029/2009EO370006 (2009)

Rapid and extreme environmental changes are occurring in the Arctic. To increase the understanding of these changes, a Web- based Sea Ice Outlook program that was initiated in May 2008 has continued for a second summer in 2009 (http:// www . arcus .org/ search/ seaiceoutlook). Here the term “outlook” refers to a procedure where investigators were asked in early June to provide projections of the mean sea ice extent for September, and to explain the rationale for their estimates. The outlook, initiated by the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH), was developed in response to the dramatic decrease in the areal extent of sea ice in summer 2007, when the extent dropped to a value of 39% below the average sea ice extent for 1979–1999 and 23% below the previous record minimum extent in 2005 (Figure 1). An effective response to such radical changes in sea ice extent requires enhanced, rapid communication within the Arctic science community to observe and understand Arctic processes as new information becomes available.

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