Abstract

Ice charts play an important role in the planning of marine operations, including navigational guidance among other use cases (e.g., climate monitoring and model validation). With a growing number of vessels operating in dynamic sea ice cover and considering the November 2021 events when several ships were stuck and delayed in the Arctic waters, it becomes ever more important to have accurate and timely ice information as well as to account for the underlying uncertainties in the sea ice products. To this end, the present study evaluates the variability in estimated total sea ice concentration in ice charts of the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) and the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (MET Norway). The weekly ice charts from AARI were compared with several daily charts from MET Norway for the corresponding week to discover any discrepancies in the reported sea ice concentration. Preliminary results of this study indicate seasonal as well as spatial trends in the absolute difference in total ice concentration between the two sea ice products. A higher difference in concentrations was observed in the western and the central regions of the Kara Sea which see a lot of ship traffic. Sensitivity of the results to the comparison approach is conducted and the found discrepancies between the two ice products are placed in the context of operational route planning.

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