NOAA's just released the latest Arctic Report Card--and the above video explaining the main points, saving me a lot of keystrokes explaining them--and the prognosis is that the Arctic is still very much warming and that ice and snow cover is still very much declining. Furthermore, changes in the Arctic climate is changing weather in the mid-latitudes viz last winter's strange and extreme conditions. For the video disinclined, here are the main bullet points:
- Greenland is experiencing record-setting high temperatures, ice melt and glacier area loss.
- Summer sea ice continues to decline--the 2009-2010 summer sea ice cover extent was the third lowest since satellite monitoring began in 1979, and sea ice thickness continues to thin. The 2010 minimum is the third lowest recorded since 1979, surpassed only by 2009 and the record low of 2007.
- Arctic snow cover duration was at a record minimum since record-keeping began in 1966.
NOAA head Jane Lubchenco concludes, "To quote one of my NOAA colleagues, 'whatever is going to happen in the rest of the world happens first, and to the greatest extent, in the Arctic.' Beyond affecting the humans and wildlife that call the area home, the Arctic's warmer temperatures and decreases in permafrost, snow cover, glaciers and sea ice also have wide-ranging consequences for the physical and biological systems in other parts of the world. The Arctic is an important driver of climate and weather around the world and serves as a critical feeding and breeding ground that supports globally significant populations of birds, mammals, and fish." (Science Direct)
Read more: Arctic Report Card: Update for 2010
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More on Global Climate Change:
Global Warming's Impact on Arctic Ice Explained (Video)
Global Warming Opens Up World's Next Suez Canal
Arctic Sea Ice Loss Confirmed As Main Cause of Faster Polar Warming