Includes sea level rise; extreme weather; changes to ecosystems, plants and animals; melting ice and permafrost; ocean wamring; impacts to water resources, agriculture, public health and national security
NOAA released the 2012 installment of the annual Arctic Report Card on December 5, 2012, as part of the American Geophysical Union's fall meeting. This image collection is a gallery of highlights based on the report's major themes. It was developed by the NOAA Climate.gov team in cooperation with Arctic Report Card authors and other Arctic experts.
On a yearly basis, Arctic temperatures are strongly influenced by natural climate patterns, including the Arctic and North Atlantic Oscillations. Over the span of a decade, though, Arctic amplification of climate change is evident: no part of the Arctic was cooler than the long-term average.
At the edge of southern Louisiana sits Port Fourchon—the hub through which 20 percent of our nation’s oil and gas supplies are distributed to the rest of the country. The only road leading to and from this major port is the Louisana-1 Highway. A drive down the LA-1 through a vulnerable but vibrant coastal landscape shows what is at stake if ‘America’s longest main street’ fails to stay above water.
A collection of tools and information from the NOAA Coastal Service Center for coastal communities to help them better understand and address the inundation issues. The kit specifically includes a crash course in key concepts related to inundation, visualization and risk recognition tools, and resources to help explain the consequences of coastal inundation and the benefits of preparing for it.
For James Overland, an Arctic oceanographer at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, six exceptionally slushy summers in a row in the Arctic demanded an explanation that went beyond the obvious: that global warming is raising the Arctic’s temperature. After analyzing winds and pressure patterns, Overland and several colleagues documented an unusual shift in the prevailing June winds—from westerlies to southerly—that amplified Arctic warming and sea ice melt.
In the mid-1980s, the winter sea ice pack in the Arctic was dominated by multi-year ice—ice that had survived at least one summer melt. Today, less than half of the sea ice at winter maximum has survived at least one summer.
Each summer, the seasonal unraveling of the Arctic’s blanket of ice exposes large areas of the ocean to solar heating. The smaller the ice extent, the larger the potential warming influence. Arctic sea ice extent in July 2011 was the lowest for that month in the satellite record.