See this page for the current status of this contest.

Posting guesses under that entry will prevent the spam filter from holding your comments.

The

previously announced Arctic sea ice extent minimum prediction pool is now open.

Guesses are to be in the form of extent and sigma (a mathematical measure of uncertainty), in thousands of km

^{2} You may use decimal places if you insist.

Your guess will define a

Gaussian curve.

The function with the highest value for x=minimum daily measured ice extent (from

IARC-JAXA) wins.

Here’s an example graph, for those who are afraid of equations:

The input data are (in thousands of km

^{2}):

Color | extent | sigma |

Black | 5420 | 300 |

Red | 4100 | 75 |

Orange | 4800 | 40 |

Green | 4600 | 135 |

Purple | 4400 | 100 |

Blue | 4500 | 200 |

For the 2008 minimum extent of 4708 thousand km

^{2}, the winner would be green, not orange, due to green’s higher stated uncertainty.

Obviously, the best choice of sigma depends on the number of entrants, among other things. Since I have no way of predicting how many people will enter, there is a second chance rule:

Anyone who is mathematically eliminated at the 2 sigma level will be allowed to guess again. In the graph above, blue would qualify, as they are completely buried in the interval 4100-4900.

The closing date is August 1.

The winner gets to nominate a topic for this blog, which I will attempt to link to mineral sciences in as humorous a manner as possible.

Here are some examples.

If you want to tell a bit more about yourself- profession, interest in climate, preferred line color for graph- that would be great. My secret agenda here is to see how the guess distribution varies between climatologists, non climatologist, friend who only want to win to force me to blog about an embarrassing episode in my past, etc. I doubt I'll get enough entries to be able to do that, but if y'all guess and invite some friends along, then we might get somewhere.

So place your bets folks; you have nothing to lose, and I have nothing to gain.

Update:

Five weeks to go.