Sunday, December 15, 2013

Fingerprints of Arctic Warming Seen Throughout Region

The map shows where sea surface temperature in August 2013 was warmer (red) or cooler (blue) than the 1982-2006 average. August 2013 sea ice extent (areas with at least 15 percent ice cover) is solid white. (Credit: NOAA) Click image to enlarge.
The Arctic may not have smashed records for sea ice loss and land-based ice melt in 2013, but the region is still clearly undergoing rapid changes as a result of manmade global warming, scientists reported Thursday.  The release of the annual Arctic Report Card, which was written by 147 scientists from 14 nations, shows that spring snow cover throughout large parts of the Arctic remains in free-fall, that older, thicker sea ice cover is a thing of the past, and that commercially valuable fish species, such as Atlantic cod and mackerel, have already moved northward in response to ocean temperature trends.

Thanks to a relatively cool summer across much of the Arctic Ocean, Arctic sea ice extent at the end of the melt season was greater than the 2012 record low.  But it was still much below the long-term average, having declined to the sixth-lowest level on record since satellite observations began in 1979.

Fingerprints of Arctic Warming Seen Throughout Region

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