Field Notes: The Polar Field Services Newsletter

Arctic Report Card for 2015

An “A” in amplification

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released “The Arctic Report Card: Update for 2015.”

Declining Arctic sea ice impacts walrus herds, which use the ice for hunting,resting, mating and raising young. The report details the complex outlook for this species Photo: Karen Frey, Clark University

Declining Arctic sea ice impacts walrus herds, which use the ice for hunting, resting, mating and raising young. The report details the complex outlook for this species Photo: Karen Frey, Clark University

According to the press release, 2015 air temperatures were “well above average with temperature anomalies over land more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit above average, the highest since records began in 1900.” The report shows that the Arctic continues to warm about twice as fast as other parts of the globe, a phenomenon called Arctic amplification.

Other key observations in the report card: Increasing air and sea surface temperatures, decreasing sea ice extent and Greenland ice sheet mass, and changing behavior of fish and walrus.

Read the press release. Read the report card: http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/