Climate models do a poor job when it comes to simulating sea-ice change in the Arctic.
Michael Winton of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey, compared data from the era of satellite observations and five state-of-the-art climate models of Northern Hemisphere sea-ice cover. All of the model simulations considerably underestimated the observed sea-ice decline.
Substantial natural variability in the annual sea ice would be necessary to explain the discrepancy between observations and even the best-performing model. It is more likely that current climate models are not nearly sensitive enough to accurately gauge the behaviour of sea ice in response to warming, the authors say.
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Sea-ice models don't measure up. Nature 471, 9 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1038/471009c