Regional variability of a projected sea ice‐free Arctic during the summer months

Climate projections of sea ice retreat under anthropogenic climate change at the regional scale and in summer months other than September have largely not been evaluated. Information at this level of detail is vital for future planning of safe Arctic marine activities. Here the timing of when Arctic waters will be reliably ice free across Arctic regions from June to October is presented. It is shown that during this century regions along the Northern Sea Route and Arctic Bridge will be more reliably ice free than regions along the Northwest Passage and the Transpolar Sea Route, which will retain substantial sea ice cover past midcentury. Moreover, ice-free conditions in the Arctic will likely be confined to September for several decades to come in many regions. Projections using a selection of models that accounts for agreement of models in each region and calendar month with observations yield similar conclusions.

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