Sea Ice Prediction and Verification

The YOPP Sea Ice Task Team coordinated and/or supported the following key projects that contributed to the team’s goals. Here, the definition of “project” is very loose and can ranged from just the formation of interest/discussion groups that kept each other up to date, to broad and work-intensive projects.

If you are interested in any of these projects, please contact the respective project lead!

Projects associated with the Sea Ice Task Team

A)    Sea Ice Drift Forecast Experiment (SIDFEx)

This YOPP project was a community effort to collect and analyse Arctic sea-ice drift forecasts at lead times from days to a year. The forecasts are made with various methods for drifting sea-ice buoys and, ultimately, the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC), a year-long trans-Arctic drift campaign that has commenced in autumn 2019. A systematic assessment of real drift forecasting capabilities is being carried out to improve our physical understanding of sea ice and to help identify and resolve model shortcomings. More than ten operational forecasting and research groups have already contributed drift forecasts, most groups deriving their 10-days-to-seasonal-range forecasts by means of diagnostic Lagrangian tracking based on prediction drift fields of coupled or uncoupled general circulation models. Some groups submitted ensembles of drift trajectories instead of single (deterministic) trajectories, and several groups submitted their forecasts in (near-)real-time. The project is continued beyond YOPP. Details can be found here.

Lead: Helge Goessling (helge.goessling(at)

B)    MOSAiC Near Real-Time Verification Project (MOSAiC-NRV)

The MOSAiC Near Real-Time Verification Project (MOSAiC-NRV) was designed to use observations taken during MOSAiC to improve the simulation of coupled processes unique to the Arctic, such as; The vertical representation of cloud and hydrometeors microphysics, low level (mix-phase) clouds; The representation of the stable boundary layer; Atmosphere-snow interaction and ocean-sea ice-atmosphere coupling. Short-term forecasts were used in this project to identify potential errors in the representation of "fast" processes that cause biases in climate model projections of Arctic climate change. 
The goal of MOSAiC-NRV is to evaluate the skill of fully-coupled short-term forecasts of the MOSAiC campaign at the Polarstern location. Multi-model diagnostics focus on process-based evaluation of the coupled system to identify systematic biases that limit the skill of Arctic forecasts. Observations of snow/sea-ice characteristics (from IMBs), the atmospheric structure (from soundings), cloud characteristics (based on radar/lidar), and surface fluxes (from 3 separate surface flux stations) are used in the evaluation. Studies are underway to evaluate the short-term forecast skill of experimental and operational forecast systems during the MOSAiC winter (15 March 2019-15 October 2020), focusing on processes that determine surface temperature, and coupling between the atmosphere and sea ice.

Lead: Amy Solomon (amy.solomon(at)