10.1 Observations of ongoing Arctic Change

Wednesday, 26 January 2011: 4:00 PM
606 (Washington State Convention Center)
Nancy N. Soreide, NOAA/PMEL, Seattle, WA; and J. E. Overland, J. A. Richter-Menge, H. Eicken, H. Wiggins, and J. Calder

Satellites show the Arctic has been losing summer sea ice for the past 30 years, especially mass of multi-year sea ice, and models predict that this loss will continue. The loss of summer sea ice is influencing the air pressure over the North Pole and wind patterns in mid-latitudes, via Teleconnections, contributing to record cold and snowy weather in Europe, eastern Asia, and eastern North America, a Hot Arctic - Cold Continents weather pattern. Winter 2009-2010 represented atypical conditions, the third most extreme since 1850, based on the negative North Atlantic Oscillation Index.

While the climate of the Arctic is changing from the base state of the 20th century, it is still unclear what new climate pattern will ultimately appear. Three websites provide updated information about recent changes in the Arctic environment.

The 2010 Arctic Report Card presents updated, peer-reviewed Arctic environmental information for policy makers, scientists, educators, students and the public. New technologies are utilized to communicate current status and trends in the Arctic environment. (www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard).

A new website “Future of Arctic Sea Ice and Global Impacts” presents the latest information on changes in the Arctic environment, with implications for the rest of the globe. These implications are tracked in (www.arctic.noaa.gov/future).

The Arctic Sea Ice Outlook provides a scientific forum for a community-wide summary of anticipated September Arctic Sea Ice minimum. In 2010, the Sea Ice Outlook was expanded to include a “Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook”, a weekly report on sea ice conditions designed for Alaska Native subsistence hunters, coastal communities, and others interested in sea ice and walrus. (www.arcus.org/search/seaiceoutlook)

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