2.1 Tracking Changes in the Arctic Environment

Tuesday, 25 January 2011: 11:00 AM
6B (Washington State Convention Center)
Nancy N. Soreide, NOAA/PMEL, Seattle, WA; and J. E. Overland, J. Calder, and J. A. Richter-Menge

The Arctic Report Card is a timely source for clear, reliable and concise environmental information on the state of the Arctic relative to historical time series records. It is developed by an international team of scientists, updated annually, and provided on the web for a broad audience, including policy makers, scientists, educators, students and the public. The web-based format facilitates future timely updates of the content. In 2010, it is clear that the Arctic is experiencing the impacts of a prolonged and amplified warming trend, highlighted with many record-setting events. Impacts are wide ranging and include record temperatures, shrinking snow, ice and glacier covers, thawing permafrost, wildlife, vegetation, and linkages to mid-latitude weather, as seen in winter 2009-2010 snowstorms in the eastern US and Eurasia. Not surprisingly, the impact of this warming is most evident in the dramatic losses that have been observed in the ice covers that define the region. Since the loss of these ice covers serves to further feed the warming trend, the expectation is that warming will continue. This makes it increasingly unlikely (at least for the foreseeable future) that the Arctic will return to conditions that were considered normal in the later part of the 20th century. Instead, it is very likely that Arctic climate warming will continue and we will continue to see records set in years to come. For more information, please see www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/
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