Thank you Dr for opening this discussion and posting the links. Given the focus on FDDs and their anomalies and the resulting effect on ice thickness, such a thread is very important.
My own two cents is that the formulas derived under past arctic conditions might not work so well in the current environment:
Was: relative uniformity of winter temperatures. Currently: highly variable, with spikes to near-zero and storms in mid-winter.
Was: initial freeze-up under relatively calm conditions. Currently: large swaths of open water are often far from calm.
Was: average thickness of snow on the newly formed ice. Currently: Probably above-average snow due to more open water.