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An Assessment of Short-Term Sea Ice Predictions in the Northern Sea Route

Author(s): Liyanarachchi Waruna Arampath De Silva; Hajime Yamaguchi

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Abstract: The recent sharp decline in summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean increases the interest on the commercial use of Arctic shipping. Precise ice distribution prediction in the short-term (5-days scale) is one of the key issues to realize safe and efficient navigation in the Northern sea route (NSR). Ensemble predictions of short-term sea-ice conditions along the Northern sea route have been carried out using a high-resolution (2.5km) ice–ocean coupled model that explicitly treats ice floe collisions in marginal ice zones. In this study, the ensembles are constructed by using forecasted atmospheric forcing data sets from THORPEX Interactive Grand Global Ensemble (TIGGE) project in 2015 and the ice and ocean conditions estimated by the model. The correlation score of ice edge error and sea ice concentration distribution quantifies forecast skill. Skill scores are computed from 5-days ensemble forecasts initialized in each month between May 2015 to October 2015. Comparison of different ensemble atmospheric forecasts, using different months initial data sets, revealed that our ice-POM numerical model skillfully predicts the ice distribution during the NSR operational period and NSR opening and closing dates. Average forecast skill of ice-POM model in the melting season is 9.28±2.44 km and in the freezing season is 15.43±5.78 km with the 15% thresholds of ice concentration for the ice edge.


Year: 2016

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