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Arctic Ice Ocean Prediction System: evaluating sea-ice forecasts during Xuelong's first trans-Arctic Passage in summer 2017

  • Longjiang Mu (a1) (a2) (a3) (a4), Xi Liang (a4), Qinghua Yang (a1) (a2) (a4) (a5), Jiping Liu (a6) and Fei Zheng (a7) (a8)...


In an effort to improve the reliability of Arctic sea-ice predictions, an ensemble-based Arctic Ice Ocean Prediction System (ArcIOPS) has been developed to meet operational demands. The system is based on a regional Arctic configuration of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model. A localized error subspace transform ensemble Kalman filter is used to assimilate the weekly merged CryoSat-2 and Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity sea-ice thickness data together with the daily Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) sea-ice concentration data. The weather forecasts from the Global Forecast System of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction drive the sea ice–ocean coupled model. The ensemble mean sea-ice forecasts were used to facilitate the Chinese National Arctic Research Expedition in summer 2017. The forecasted sea-ice concentration is evaluated against AMSR2 and Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder sea-ice concentration data. The forecasted sea-ice thickness is compared to the in-situ observations and the Pan-Arctic Ice-Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System. These comparisons show the promising potential of ArcIOPS for operational Arctic sea-ice forecasts. Nevertheless, the forecast bias in the Beaufort Sea calls for a delicate parameter calibration and a better design of the assimilation system.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Qinghua Yang, E-mail:


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