87th AMS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 16 January 2007: 9:15 AM
NOAA State of the Arctic Report
214C (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Jacqueline A. Richter-Menge, ERDC-Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Hanover, NH; and J. E. Overland, A. Proshutinsky, V. Romanovsky, and N. Soreide
The recently published State of the Arctic Report provides an update to some of the physical data records discussed in the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA). The Report represents the work of 26 international scientists who developed a consensus on information content and reliability. Many of the trends documented in the ACIA are continuing, but some are not. Taken collectively, the observations presented in this Report indicate that during 2000-2005 the Arctic system shows signs of continued warming. However, there are indications that certain elements may be returning to climatological norms. Of particular note:

Atmospheric climate patterns are shifting. The late winter/spring pattern for 2000-2005 had new hot spots in NE Canada and the East Siberian Sea relative to 1980-1999.

Ocean salinity and temperature profiles at the North Pole and in the Beaufort Sea, which changed abruptly in the 1990s, show that conditions since 2000 have relaxed toward the pre-1990 climatology, although the period 2001-2004 has seen an increase in northward ocean heat transport through Bering Strait.

Sea ice extent in September 2005 was the summer minimum observed during the satellite era beginning in 1979.

Permafrost temperatures continue to increase. Unlike the permafrost temperatures, data on changes in the near surface active layer thickness are less conclusive.

There is increasing interest in the stability of the Greenland ice sheet.

Globally, 2005 was the warmest year in the instrumental record (beginning in 1880) with the Arctic providing a large contribution toward this increase.

The State of the Arctic Report will be provided on the web at http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/detect/.

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