NOAA's Arctic Report Card: Changes Affecting Air, Ocean, and Everything in Between

Sampling at the North Pole

Peter West / NSF
Clearing away ice to take samples at NSF's North Pole
Environmental Observatory.

10/22/2009

Despite the fact that summer 2009 had more sea ice than in 2007 or 2008, scientists are seeing drastic changes in the region from just five years ago and at rates faster than anticipated.

The findings were presented today in the annual update of the Arctic Report Card, a collaborative effort of 71 national and international scientists.

The Report Card can be found here.

 "The Arctic is a special and fragile place on this planet," said Jane Lubchenco, under secretary for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "Climate change is happening faster in the Arctic than any other place on Earth — and with wide-ranging consequences. When I visited the northern corners of Alaska’s Arctic region earlier this year, I saw an area abundant with natural resources, diverse wildlife, proud local and native peoples — and a most uncertain future. This year’s Arctic Report Card underscores the urgency of reducing greenhouse gas pollution and adapting to climate changes already under way."

Among the changes highlighted in the 2009 update to the report card were:

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