Arctic Report Card 2016

NOAA (the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) have released their 2016 Arctic Report Card, and it isn’t flash.

Persistent warming trend and loss of sea ice are triggering extensive Arctic changes.

Observations in 2016 showed a continuation of long-term Arctic warming trends which reveals the interdependency of physical and biological Arctic systems, contributing to a growing recognition that the Arctic is an integral part of the globe, and increasing the need for comprehensive communication of Arctic change to diverse user audiences.

Highlights

  • The average surface air temperature for the year ending September 2016 is by far the highest since 1900, and new monthly record highs were recorded for January, February, October and November 2016.
  • After only modest changes from 2013-2015, minimum sea ice extent at the end of summer 2016 tied with 2007 for the second lowest in the satellite record, which started in 1979.
  • Spring snow cover extent in the North American Arctic was the lowest in the satellite record, which started in 1967.
  • In 37 years of Greenland ice sheet observations, only one year had earlier onset of spring melting than 2016.
  • The Arctic Ocean is especially prone to ocean acidification, due to water temperatures that are colder than those further south.  The short Arctic food chain leaves Arctic marine ecosystems vulnerable to ocean acidification events.
  • Thawing permafrost releases carbon into the atmosphere, whereas greening tundra absorbs atmospheric carbon.  Overall, tundra is presently releasing net carbon into the atmosphere.
  • Small Arctic mammals, such as shrews, and their parasites, serve as indicators for present and historical environmental variability. Newly acquired parasites indicate northward shifts of sub-Arctic species and increases in Arctic biodiversity.

14 Comments

  1. Joe Bloggs

     /  December 18, 2016

    Nah, it’ll be fine. Donald Trump told us that the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive…. nothing to worry about here. move along now…

  2. PDB

     /  December 18, 2016

    No doubt the Artic has warmed gradually over a period of 30 odd years but the proof that this is predominantly man-made? Zero. The whole planet is warming as we continue to come out of a mini-ice age.

    Even ignoring the fact the ‘experts’ said that by the end of 2016 the Arctic would be ‘ice free’……let’s ‘spin’ these ‘facts’ somewhat to get another view………..

    *”average surface air temperature for the year ending September 2016 is by far the highest since 1900″

    So in over 100 years there has been no change?

    *”minimum sea ice extent at the end of summer 2016 tied with 2007 for the second lowest in the satellite record”

    So in 9 years no change? In fact it was worse sometime back in the past (hence why it is tied as second lowest) so we are actually better off then when that record minimum was recorded?

    *”Spring snow cover extent in the North American Arctic was the lowest in the satellite record, which started in 1967″

    Considering how old the planet is 50 years odd is hardly a large enough sample to say anything with any amount of certainty. Nice fact but somewhat meaningless in the scheme of things.

    *”In 37 years of Greenland ice sheet observations, only one year had earlier onset of spring melting than 2016″

    Telling they don’t tell us when this other ‘one year’ was……..again if it was some time ago we are better off in 2016 then when this earlier onset of Spring melting occurred.

  3. Blazer

     /  December 18, 2016

    ‘as we continue to come out of a mini-ice age.’….what evidence can you provide to back this up?

    • PDB

       /  December 18, 2016

      I don’t think anybody is denying the earth has been warming since the little ice age…..

      • Blazer

         /  December 18, 2016

        bit of a longer time frame there …’No doubt the Artic has warmed gradually over a period of 30 odd years ‘!!

        • PDB

           /  December 18, 2016

          You forget that there was a sharp drop in temperature from the 1950’s-1970s hence the 1970’s had scientists warning of another ice age……..

          • PDB

             /  December 18, 2016

            That “unanimous agreement” statement sounds familiar……..

  4. Zedd

     /  December 18, 2016

    I see the Tories & ‘Drumpfites’ are following him on this.. ‘a chinese conspiracy’
    OR just a total myth.. mostly led by the fossil fuel industry..

    “Wake up ya fools”
    * massive increases in CO2 (&CH4), must be having an effect on our environment.. burying you heads in the sand will not make it go away ! 😦

    • PDB

       /  December 18, 2016

      Zedd: “massive increases in CO2 (&CH4), must be having an effect”

      You’re right – plants are growing faster which is a good thing……..

    • PDB

       /  December 18, 2016

      So if CO2 causes temperature to rise why did that not occur in the mid-20th century when man really started to spew huge amounts of Co2 into the atmosphere? Instead temperatures decreased as CO2 increased.

  5. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  December 18, 2016

    Sure looks like a lot of ice up in the Arctic a couple of days ago

    https://nsidc.org/data/masie/