NOAA Arctic Report Card

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released their Arctic Report Card update on October 21, 2010: "Return to previous Arctic conditions is unlikely. Record temperatures across Canadian Arctic and Greenland, a reduced summer sea ice cover, record snow cover decreases and links to some Northern Hemisphere weather support this conclusion."

Summary

While 2009 showed a slowdown in the rate of annual air temperature increases in the Arctic, the first half of 2010 shows a near record pace with monthly anomalies of over 4°C in northern Canada. There continues to be significant excess heat storage in the Arctic Ocean at the end of summer due to continued near-record sea ice loss. There is evidence that the effect of higher air temperatures in the lower Arctic atmosphere in fall is contributing to changes in the atmospheric circulation in both the Arctic and northern mid-latitudes. Winter 2009-2010 showed a new connectivity between mid-latitude extreme cold and snowy weather events and changes in the wind patterns of the Arctic; the so-called Warm Arctic-Cold Continents pattern.