Short- and Mid-Term Forecasting of Pan-Arctic Sea Ice Volume Using Variational Mode Decomposition and Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory

Aymane Ahajjam, Jaakko Putkonen, Timothy J. Pasch, Xun Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The well-documented decrease in the annual minimum Arctic sea ice extent over the past few decades is an alarming indicator of current climate change. However, much less is known about the thickness of the Arctic sea ice. Developing accurate forecasting models is critical to better predict its changes and monitor the impacts of global warming on the total Arctic sea ice volume (SIV). Significant improvements in forecasting performance are possible with the advances in signal processing and deep learning. Accordingly, here, we set out to utilize the recent advances in machine learning to develop non-physics-based techniques for forecasting the sea ice volume with low computational costs. In particular, this paper aims to provide a step-wise decision process required to develop a more accurate forecasting model over short- and mid-term horizons. This work integrates variational mode decomposition (VMD) and bidirectional long short-term memory (BiLSTM) for multi-input multi-output pan-Arctic SIV forecasting. Different experiments are conducted to identify the impact of several aspects, including multivariate inputs, signal decomposition, and deep learning, on forecasting performance. The empirical results indicate that (i) the proposed hybrid model is consistently effective in time-series processing and forecasting, with average improvements of up to 60% compared with the case of no decomposition and over 40% compared with other deep learning models in both forecasting horizons and seasons; (ii) the optimization of the VMD level is essential for optimal performance; and (iii) the use of the proposed technique with a divide-and-conquer strategy demonstrates superior forecasting performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number370
JournalGeosciences (Switzerland)
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • deep learning
  • mid-term forecasting
  • multi-horizon forecasting
  • pan-Arctic sea ice volume forecasting
  • short-term forecasting
  • time-series forecasting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Short- and Mid-Term Forecasting of Pan-Arctic Sea Ice Volume Using Variational Mode Decomposition and Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this