In this activity, students learn about sea ice extent in both polar regions (Arctic and Antarctic). They start out by forming a hypothesis on the variability of sea ice, testing the hypothesis by graphing real data from a recent 3-year period to learn about seasonal variations and over a 25-year period to learn about longer-term trends, and finish with a discussion of their results and predictions.
The annual Report Card provides clear, concise scientific information on the state of the Arctic region, organized into 5 sections: Atmosphere, Sea Ice & Ocean, Marine Ecosystems, Terrestrial Ecosystems, and Hydrology & Terrestrial Cryosphere. This edition was prepared by an international team of 121 scientists from 14 different countries. Independent peer-review of the 2011 Report Card was organized by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme of the Arctic Council.
Atmospheric Aerosol Properties and Climate Impacts
January 15, 2009
A detailed look at global distributions and properties of airborne particles known as "aerosols." The report examines the various ways in which aerosols influence climate, and the uncertainties in our ability to observe and measure these particles' impact on the climate system.
An assessment of the potential for abrupt state changes or regime shifts in ecosystems in response to climate change. Better understanding of sudden changes to ecosystems, and the goods and services they provide, is extremely important if natural resource managers are to succeed in developing adaptation strategies.
Past Climate Variability and Change in the Arctic and at High Latitudes
January 1, 2009
Over the past 30 years, average temperatures in the Arctic have increased at almost twice the rate of the planet as a whole. Such temperature changes have been accompanied by shrinking sea ice, melting ice and permafrost on land, and widespread impacts to land and ocean ecosystems.
An assessment of abrupt climate change events where key aspects of Earth's climate system change faster than the responsible forcings would suggest and/or faster than society can respond. This report examines four types of abrupt change in Earth's past that were so rapid and so large in their impact that if they were to recur today they would pose clear risks to society in terms of our ability to adapt.
Climate Projections Based on Emissions Scenarios for Long-Lived and Short-Lived Radiatively Active Gases and Aerosols
September 3, 2008
An assessment of the effects of short-lived gases and particles in the atmosphere. They can significantly change regional surface temperatures. By the year 2100 short-lived gases and particles may account for as much as 40 percent of the warming over the continental U.S. in summertime.
Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate
May 31, 2008
An assessment in the state of knowledge concerning changes in weather and climate extremes in North America and U.S. territories. Changes in extreme weather and climate events have significant impacts and are among the most serious challenges to society in coping with a changing climate.