NOAA report: Long-term Arctic warming trends continue

Unprecedented warmer air temperature over the Arctic triggered extensive melting in the sea ice and land-based snow cover this fall, according to a new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The 11th annual Arctic Report Card, which is based on research by 61 scientists in 11 countries, shows the continuation of long-term Arctic warming trends.

I recently wrote in another blog post about two New Zealand glaciers — Franz Josef and Fox glaciers — that have been melting at an accelerated rate in recent years. Franz Josef Glacier has retreated by nearly a half mile since 2008.

“Rarely have we seen the Arctic show a clearer, stronger or more pronounced signal of persistent warming and its cascading effects on the environment than this year,” Jeremy Mathis, director of NOAA’s Arctic Research Program, said in a statement. Here are some of the key findings of the report:

Surface air temperature: Average annual air temperature over land was the highest on record, up 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit since 1900. Arctic air temperatures are rising twice as fast as global temperatures. For October-November, the highest average temperature was 25 degrees Fahrenheit above the long-term norm in Northern Canada.

Continue reading NOAA report: Long-term Arctic warming trends continue