Warmer air and sea, declining ice continue to trigger Arctic change

See how the region scored in the 2015 Arctic Report Card

Now in its 10th year, the latest NOAA-sponsored report shows that air temperature in 2015 across the Arctic was well above average with temperature anomalies over land more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit above average, the highest since records began in 1900. Increasing air and sea surface temperatures, decreasing sea ice extent and Greenland ice sheet mass, and changing behavior of fish and walrus are among key observations in the Arctic Report Card 2015, published December 15, 2015.

A lone hiker in the Delong Mountains in the Western Arctic National Parklands, August 2014.
A lone hiker in the Delong Mountains in the Western Arctic National Parklands, August 2014. (Western Arctic National Parklands/NPS)

“The Arctic is warming twice as fast as other parts of the planet, which has ramifications for global security, climate, commerce, and trade, " said NOAA Chief Scientist Dr. Rick Spinrad, during a press conference at the annual American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting this past December.  "This year’s report shows the importance of international collaboration on sustained, long-term observing programs that provide insights to inform decisions by citizens, policymakers, and industry.”

Some 70 authors from 11 countries, including U.S. federal agencies and academics, contributed to this annual peer-reviewed report, guided by an editorial team from the Office of Naval Research, the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, and NOAA. 

Here are video highlights from the Arctic Report: 

Arctic Report Card 2015: Highlights
Tracking recent environmental changes in the Arctic region, the report includes with 12 essays prepared by an international team of 72 scientists from 11 different countries and an independent peer-review organized by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme of the Arctic Council. Access the full report at http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard. (NOAA Research)