The Arctic Region Continues to Warm, NOAA Report Confirms

Record high temperatures in Greenland, a decrease in sea ice, and reduced snow cover indicate that the Arctic region continues to warm at an unprecedented rate, according to a new report from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In its annual Arctic Report Card, the agency reports that Greenland experienced record-setting temperatures in 2010, with summer air temperatures reaching 0.6 to 2.4 degrees C higher than the baseline averages from 1971 to 2000. Summer sea ice cover was the third-lowest since recordings began in 1979, surpassed only by 2007 and 2008. Arctic snow cover duration was at a record minimum since records were first kept in 1966. The report is based on the work of 69 international scientists and 176 published reports. NOAA Administrator Jane Lubecheno warned that the warming trend in the Arctic region portends global consequences. “To quote one of my NOAA colleagues, ‘Whatever is going to happen in the rest of the world happens first, and to the greatest extent, in the Arctic,’” she said.