"Since 10 years, significant interest has emerged for seasonal predictions of Arctic sea ice, a hotspot for climate change with high environmental and geopolitical importance. Comparatively, little is known about Antarctic sea ice. The Sea Ice Prediction Network South (SIPN South) is a 2-yr international project led by UCL that has been endorsed by the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP, http://www.polarprediction.net/yopp-activities) project. The goal of SIPN South is to derive an initial assessment of seasonal sea ice prediction capacity by modern forecasting systems. The flagship activity of SIPN South will be the provision of sea ice forecasts coinciding with the YOPP Special Observing Period that will take place in austral summer 2018-2019.
A general rehearsal experiment for the 2018-2019 experiment took place earlier this year. 13 groups contributed 160 forecasts for February 2018 sea ice conditions. According to a post-season analysis published in a report this 8th of June, most forecasting systems were unable to forecast the dramatic sea ice loss in the Ross Sea that drove sea ice extent to record low conditions. Elsewhere, sea ice conditions were forecasted with reasonable accuracy, though the uncertainty for each individual submission remained large.