The Arctic is increasingly warmer, less frozen, and wetter, with regional extremes in weather, climate patterns, and ecosystem responses.
On Tuesday, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a report cart showing that summer surface air temperatures during 2023 were the warmest ever observed in the Arctic.
The annual report card documented new records showing that human-caused warming of the air, ocean and land is affecting people, ecosystems and communities across the Arctic region, which is heating up faster than any other part of the world.
The Arctic is increasingly warmer, less frozen, and wetter, with regional extremes in weather, climate patterns, and ecosystem responses. Overall, the year 2023 was the Arctic's sixth-warmest year on record.
"Sea ice extent continues to decline, with the 17 lowest Arctic sea ice extents on record occurring during the last 17 years. This year’s sea ice extent was the sixth lowest in the satellite record, which began in 1979, with older, thicker multi-year ice far less than in the 1980s," the NOAA report states.
Reminder: A #BombCyclone occurs when excess heat from other areas of the planet pushes on the artic cap forcing that cold air to be displaced somewhere else.— Mike Hudema (@MikeHudema) December 23, 2022
Unmitigated global warming will make them more likely and intense.#ActOnClimate #climate pic.twitter.com/6TgGjC8W6J
Western Alaska salmon abundance reached historic extremes during 2021 to 2022. Changes in salmon abundance and size are associated with climatic changes in freshwater and marine ecosystems and competition in the ocean.
"The overriding message from this year's report card is that the time for action is now," said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad.
"NOAA and our federal partners have ramped up our support and collaboration with state, tribal and local communities to help build climate resilience. At the same time, we as a nation and global community must dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are driving these changes," he said.
The annual Arctic report card is the work of 82 authors from 13 countries. It is a timely and peer-reviewed source for clear, reliable, and concise environmental information on the current state of different components of the Arctic system relative to historical records.