Arctic Report 2010

The U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s 2010 Arctic Report Card is an extremely good source of information on Arctic climatic trends. The site also includes an abundance of very good graphics.

Among the findings in the report:

  1. The first half of 2010 saw a near record pace of temperature anomalies in the region, with anomalies of over 4C in northern Canada; but this could moderate for the rest of the year due to La Niña influences.
  2. Winter 2009-2010 showed a new connectivity between mid-latitude extreme cold and snowy weather events and changes in the wind patterns of the Arctic; the so-called Warm Arctic-Cold Continents pattern;
  3. The 2010 sea-ice minimum is the third-lowest recorded since 1979, surpassed only by 2008 and the record low in 2007; The March 2010 ice extent was 15.1 million km2, about 4% less that the 1979–2000 average of 15.8 million km.;
  4. There has been a substantial loss in the oldest ice types within the Arctic Basin in recent years compared to the late 1980s;
  5. A combination of low winter snow accumulation and warm spring temperatures created a new record low spring snow cover duration over the Arctic in 2010, since satellite observations began in 1966;
  6. Greenland climate in 2010 is marked by record-setting high air temperatures, ice loss by melting, and marine-terminating glacier area loss;
  7. There is also evidence that the effect of higher air temperatures in the Arctic atmosphere in fall is contributing to changes in the atmospheric circulation in both the Arctic and northern mid-latitudes. Winter 2009-2010 showed a link between mid-latitude extreme cold and snowy weather events and changes in the wind patterns of the Arctic, related to a phase of the Arctic Oscillation.

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