In the 2011 Arctic Report Card, scientists report that the bright white surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet has grown less reflective. The darker surface absorbs more sunlight, accelerating melting.

On December 1, NOAA released its annual Arctic Report Card. Like a yearly check-up at the doctor's office, the report summarizes conditions in the Arctic atmosphere, ocean, and on land.

Phytoplankton productivity has increased 20 percent over the past decade as sea ice extent declines and more open water habitat is available.

Satellite observations show that as the Arctic tundra has grown warmer in the past three decades, it has also grown “greener.”

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