2015 Arctic Report Card

December 16, 2015

Arctic Report Card – NOAA:

Maximum sea ice extent on 25 February was 15 days earlier than average and the lowest value on record (1979-present). Minimum ice extent in September was the 4th lowest on record. Sea ice continues to be younger and thinner: in February and March 2015 there was twice as much first-year ice as there was 30 years ago.

Changes in sea ice alone are having profound effects on the marine ecosystem  (fishes, walruses, primary production) and sea surface temperaturesAir temperatures  in all seasons between October 2014 and September 2015 exceeded 3°C above average over broad areas of the Arctic, while the annual average air temperature (+1.3°) over land was the highest since 1900.
June snow cover extent on land continued a decrease that dates back to 1979, while  river discharge from the great rivers of Eurasia and North America has increased during that time.Melting occurred over more than 50% of the Greenland Ice Sheet for the first time since the exceptional melting of 2012, and glaciers terminating in the ocean showed an increase in ice velocity and decrease in area.
Walruses are negatively affected by loss of sea ice habitat but positively affected by reduced hunting pressure, while sea ice loss and rising temperatures in the Barents Sea are causing a poleward shift in fish communities primary production anomalies occurred throughout the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas as sea ice retreated in summer 2015.
Terrestrial vegetation productivity and above-ground biomass have been decreasing since 2011.

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3 Responses to “2015 Arctic Report Card”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    “Terrestrial vegetation productivity and above-ground biomass have been decreasing since 2011”

    DECREASING! WHAT? I thought CO2 and a longer growing season were good for plants and all living things. Has someone been lying to us?


  2. And from the Torygraph
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/12052582/Even-if-the-global-warming-scare-were-a-hoax-we-would-still-need-it.html

    China is the low-carbon superpower and will be the ultimate enforcer of the COP21 climate deal in Paris

    Chinese scientists have published two alarming reports in a matter of weeks. Both conclude that the Himalayan glaciers and the Tibetan permafrost are succumbing to catastrophic climate change, threatening the water systems of the Yellow River, the Yangtze and the Mekong.

    The Tibetan plateau is the world’s “third pole”, the biggest reservoir of fresh water outside the Arctic and Antarctica. The area is warming at twice the global pace, making it the epicentre of global climate risk.

    One report was by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The other was a 900-page door-stopper from the science ministry, called the “Third National Assessment Report on Climate Change”.

    The latter is the official line of the Communist Party. It states that China has already warmed by 0.9-1.5 degrees over the past century – higher than the global average – and may warm by a further five degrees by 2100, with effects that would overwhelm the coastal cities of Shanghai, Tianjin and Guangzhou. The message is that China faces a civilizational threat.

    Whether or not you accept the hypothesis of man-made global warming is irrelevant. The Chinese Academy and the Politburo do accept it. So does President Xi Jinping, who spent his Cultural Revolution carting coal in the mining region of Shaanxi. This political fact is tectonic for the global fossil industry and the economics of energy.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      I’ll again mention “Fire and Ice”, a great book that reinforces Frank’s comments in a multidimensional way, and brings human “culture” into the equation along with the science.


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