NOAA and Partners Release 2017 Arctic Report Card
December 12, 2017
By Jessica Rohde
and its partners released the 2017 Arctic Report Card on 12 December 2017, during a news conference at fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The 2017 Arctic Report Card is available at: http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/Report-Card
The collection of recent observations shows that, despite relatively cool temperatures in 2017, the Arctic environmental system has reached a 'new normal'. The Arctic is now characterized by long-term losses in the extent and thickness of the sea ice cover, the extent and duration of the winter snow cover and the mass of ice in the Greenland Ice Sheet and Arctic glaciers, and warming sea surface and permafrost temperatures. Arctic paleo-reconstructions, extending back millions of years, indicate that the magnitude and pace of the 21st century sea-ice decline and surface ocean warming is unprecedented in at least the last 1,500 years and likely much longer.
The persistence and pervasiveness of these environmental conditions has enabled increases in Arctic Ocean primary productivity, the expansion of above ground vegetation, and motivated changes resource management protocols, including those established for fisheries and wildfires. The unprecedented rate and global reach of Arctic change disproportionally affect the people of northern communities, further pressing the need to prepare for and adapt to the new Arctic.
Posted by Jessica Rohde on behalf of Jackie Richter-Menge, US Arctic Research Commission and the University of Alaska Fairbanks