October 22nd, 2010
12:13 PM ET

NOAA: Arctic changes are affecting climate elsewhere

Changes such as a decrease in sea ice have consequences elsewhere, the report says.

The Arctic's warming trend is beginning to affect the climate farther south, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said this week in its annual Arctic Report Card.

"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," wrote the report's authors, a team of 69 international scientists.

Extreme cold and big snowfalls can be blamed on the Arctic changes, according to NOAA.

"Beyond affecting the humans and wildlife that call the area home, the Arctic's warmer temperatures and decreases in permafrost, snow cover, glaciers and sea ice also have wide-ranging consequences for the physical and biological systems in other parts of the world," NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco said.

Sea ice reaches its minimum in September every year. This year's September ice cover was the third-smallest recorded since microwave satellites started taking measurements in 1979, the authors wrote.

"The last four summers have experienced the four lowest minimums in the satellite record, and eight of the 10 lowest minimums have occurred during the last decade," the report card said.

The sea ice also appears to be much younger than two decades ago, as ice that survived from year to year has dwindled to a fraction of its former mass, the data showed.

Watch a NOAA video illustrating the changes

Greenland, the Arctic's great glacier-covered land mass, experienced record-setting high air temperatures, ice loss and glacier area loss, the report said.

"A combination of a warm and dry 2009-2010 winter and the very warm summer resulted in the highest melt rate since at least 1958 and an area and duration of ice sheet melting that was above any previous year on record since at least 1978," the authors wrote.

Furthermore, "a clear pattern of exceptional and record-setting warm air temperatures is evident at long-term meteorological stations around Greenland," they wrote.

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Filed under: Climate change • Earth • Environment • Science • Weather
soundoff (930 Responses)
  1. Pete

    wow, these guys are smart, who would have thunk that the melting of the arctic ice would affect the climate everywhere else? it appears the problem is our experts are for the most part not so smart.... or at least really slow...

    October 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. InUrFace

    wow simon! your point of view just contradicted the very base of tolerability that the United States was founded on! Yes i believe i will go to heaven. You believe you will go where? Even if it is wishfull thinking i would rather believe in any God before I believed im just going to die and become nothing. But even science says that energy cannot be created nor destroyed so even though no one can tell us where we are going i know my energy/spirit will go somewhere. P.S. Global Warming is natural. Al Gore glorified it so he would have building blocks for his campaign in 2000 but he couldnt even beat out ole "W"

    October 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Randolph Carter

      Actually, moron, Gore won the popular vote but the conservative supreme court gave Bushbaby the victory. Have a nice day!

      October 22, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dt

    The earth wobbles every year. Its called Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. The earth also rotates, thats what makes the sun go down at night, and come up in the morning. As for your political rant.... pretty much absurd.

    October 22, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • dt

      Oh that was for Mike.

      October 22, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Very Good!!! but are you telling me that know of this matters.....changes in the Earth's orbit around the Sun known as Milankovitch cycles (and possibly the Sun's orbit around the galaxy); the motion of tectonic plates resulting in changes in the relative location and amount of continental and oceanic crust on the Earth's surface, which affect wind and ocean currents; variations in solar output; the orbital dynamics of the Earth-Moon system; and the impact of relatively large meteorites, and volcanism including eruptions of supervolcanoes.

      October 22, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • TimJohnson

      There is the 24hr daily cycle,
      the 365-day seasonal cycle
      the 8-11yr sun spot cycle that affect earth due to solar energy output
      . . .
      . . .
      the 33 million year cycle of solar system wobbling around galactic plane
      the 220 million year cycle of solar system going around the galaxy
      . . .

      It's absurd to think any of the temperature risings and fallings in those cycles are the result of human activity. It's like Rooster claiming credit for sun rise or mosquito hatched in May taking credit for raising temperature in northern hemisphere in the subsequent two months of its life.

      Pure hubris writ large.

      October 22, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • dt

      Youre right, it is absurd. But we are talking about the climate here on Earth, over the period of about 100 years, and also predicting the next 100 years. So, what was your point?

      October 22, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Thank You Tim Johnson!!!! I could not agree with you more..........They are really sane people out there.......Thank you for making my day..........I am out of here...........I Have a greate day.

      October 22, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yeah right

      Bye Mike, sorry he can't face reality. Bye.....Maybe one day he will realize how wrong he was....... no I don't think he will.

      October 22, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sri

    Bunch of idiots still don't understand global warming... please look beyond the 48 states.

    October 22, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Randolph Carter

      You're asking a lot, Sri. Remember, this is Americans you're dealing with. They're pear-shaped and know everything. Have a nice day!

      October 22, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Gary

    The real del is that no matter what side your are arguring from or for (some of you speak about how long it would take for the earth to recover) I recmooend a great book that places no blame on man as to climate change but goes into deep depth as to how would the earth REALLY recover.

    'The World Without Us' (now out of print but can be bought at many online sellers) is a MUST read for anyone concerned or simply curious about the reality, prooven facts, of the earths chances of recovery.

    October 22, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Gary

    Randolph Carter

    "Actually, moron, Gore won the popular vote but the conservative supreme court gave Bushbaby the victory. Have a nice day!"

    I juat had to repeat this post because it is a FACT that anyone with a decent education could see and understand!

    October 22, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    did they caculate the changes in the Earth's orbit around the Sun known as Milankovitch cycles (and possibly the Sun's orbit around the galaxy); the motion of tectonic plates resulting in changes in the relative location and amount of continental and oceanic crust on the Earth's surface, which affect wind and ocean currents; variations in solar output; the orbital dynamics of the Earth-Moon system; and the impact of relatively large meteorites, and volcanism including eruptions of supervolcanoes......What Ever the Left will step in their own messes...keep making things up...LOL

    October 22, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Unconscious

      NO IT"S ALL MANS FAULT!!!111111ELEVENTY

      Nevermind that total human greenhouse gas contributions add up to about 0.28% of the greenhouse effect.

      October 22, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Peter

    NOAA? What the hell do THEY know? I get all my scientific info from Rush Limbaugh, who told me that nutin' ain't goin' on.

    October 22, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • TimJohnson

      NOAA knows about as much regarding AGW as medieval state-church funded scholars knew about sins and their redemption through the purchase of "indulgences." That's why government should never be allowed in the funding of sciences. The corrupting influence of bureaucratic monopoly on funds flow turns scientific research into state religion.

      October 22, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cheeznrice

    Even if it isn't our fault, something is happening and we need to do something about it. Just because it's "natural" doesn't mean it's good for us. Frankly, I don't want to become like the dinosaurs and mamoths – they died out due to "natural" causes. We are smart enough to think of solutions and actually manipulate out environment...let's get passed why it's happening and admit we'd better do something before Katrina hurricanes become the norm and blizzards commonplace in Washington, DC. I don't get it...the answers are known and achieveable and will increase one's life and provide a better living environment. What's the deal? I guess being ideologically pure is better than living a longer life. I just had a view of the future: the GOP wins the election and the President begins his speach with, "My fellow fish, glub, glub...glub. God Bless glub glub.

    October 22, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • dt

      Exactly. Asking that question will lead you to realize they don't give a hoot about our survival in the long term. Only short term gain matters.

      October 22, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. C Zenko

    I have had the debate many times with many people. There is a large group of people who say the climate change is part of a cycle. I agree some what, it is true about every 72 years the earth has moved one degree on it's axis, and that must have an effect on the earth. But to say that cutting down many trees, polluting the air and water has had no effect on the climate at all does not make much sence. It's easy to take no responsibility by saying it has no effect and it's all part of a big cycle. By the time we convince everyone it is happening it'll be too late to do anything about it. People are short sighted, and take the path of least resistance. There are always a few people who will do more then is required and see farther then most, but they are out numbered.

    October 22, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yeah right

      And I think some who go out of there way to try and disprove it is criminal. Anyone that has done any reading or research has found that an overwhelming number of scienctist in this field agree that humans are the cause of our currently warming. LOL its not up for debate anymore. As a matter of fact they working on now is how or what can we do to lessen the impact or slow it down.

      October 22, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • TimJohnson

      Most of the detrimental effect of cutting down trees and polluting air is local. Local environmental safe guard is indeed a worthwhile effort in many regards. Anthropogenic Global Warming theory however is a scam that strips resources from locals and enrich a central government bureaucracy, whose members then use the money to cut down trees to build their own manses and pool houses, and pollute the air with their motorcade and jets.

      October 22, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Tim, are you serious? my goodness take your Freakin tinfoil hat off and open your eyes.

      October 22, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • TimJohnson

      Steve,

      It's time to open your eyes. Algoreans are reaping billions from the scams. All the Wall Street usual suspects are lining up to profit from the Cap-and-Tax "indulgence" scam.

      October 22, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. FEVEROFTHEHUT

    How about a Big Fat YEAH RIGHT TO ALL OF YOU with a blind eye for our planet, Who you ALL depend on for LIFE who will not do a thing deferent until the garbage is at your door step..."It's all good, nothing is wrong with the way we live"-as we eat the fish that was caught out in The Great Pacific Garbage Patch that feed off of the plastic pellets the floated out to sea from your local storm drains.... Yummy! "oh well, I'll die before any of this Global Warming Stuff effects me"-Right ...Such B-S. The FACT IS we as Humans have over-populated this planet & are bleeding it of all of its natural recourses..... The More & more Dire the situation gets for the planet as a hospitable environment the more The folks living here get desperate. I believe it’s The Fear Of the un-none ,The Fear of Death that causes everyone into a consumer driven frenzy to acquire as much as you can before you die as everyone wants to leave there mark, there legacy…If we do not break this cycle of Glory, Fame & pursuit of the most toys Eventually the Planet will consume it's self……. But hey there's all ways another planet we can destroy, we just have to get there first -oh yeah, hop on board the virgin galactic it's just a measly $500k per seat hope you don't have a wife or kids???

    October 22, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Steve

    I would invite anyone of you to actually read a scientific article regarding anthropogenic contributions to climate change. Then you'll realize why things need to change NOW. Not tomorrow, not "the day after tomorrow", but rather now. What we see now is merely the "tip of the iceberg" when it comes to contributions from man. You all seem to have a rebuttal because you all "know" what is going on. I in no way claim to be a climate scientist, and have read plenty of things about climate change which I myself am skeptical. But the idea that putting trillions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere will not have an adverse effect is downright ignorant.

    October 22, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • TimJohnson

      I used to build computer models all the time. They are models, not reality. You are being conned by a new age religious scam if you are convinced by the "Amageddon is nigh" tract.

      October 22, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      FYI Tim I work with Climate models too. And I know they aren't reality... Just a more useful tool than yourself.

      October 22, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Also, would like to point out in that comment I in no way mentioned models. You brought them into that conversation, intuition alone will tell you that CO2 is a GHG and will affect various layers of the atmosphere.

      October 22, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Some Body

    Climate Scientist used to say that global warming would make snowfall in England a rare event, until last year, after all the snow that fell in England. Now they say that climate change may produce a lot of snowfall as well as little snowfall.

    October 22, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Randolph Carter

      Once again: climate and weather are two different things. But just keep believeing what the coal and oil companies want you to believe. I'm sure your grandkids will thank you for their endless wars over dwindling resources. Have a nice day!

      October 22, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      thats why 'global warming' has been replaced by 'climate change' in scientific literature. even though the overall trend is higher average temperatures worldwide, local extreme weather can include anything from snow to rain to droughts.

      October 22, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • TimJohnson

      Randolph,
      The coal and oil companies actually fund the AGW movement. Who do you think will get the Cap-and-Tax currency first if that comes into force? Then the coal and oil companies will be making money without having to sell you coal and oil.

      Tony,
      If global warming means both cooling and warming, then it's really not predicting anything now is it? As for weather getting more violent, that's also proven to be false. We have had a few extremely calm hurricane seasons in a row now, contrary to the climate-religion crowd was predicting.

      October 22, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Randolph Carter

      Hmm, weak hurricanes you say? Tell that to the Pakistanis. Have a nice day!

      October 22, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      as I said, scientists have predicted (AND OBSERVED) an unprecedented rise in the average global temperature, and record summer high temperatures across the globe. They prefer the term 'climate change' because the term 'global warming' completely ignores the fact that increased CO2 can cause other LOCAL changes like increased precipitation or harsher winters depending on where you are.

      October 22, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Randolph Carter

      TimJohnson

      "Randolph,
      The coal and oil companies actually fund the AGW movement. Who do you think will get the Cap-and-Tax currency first if that comes into force? Then the coal and oil companies will be making money without having to sell you coal and oil."

      So their lobbyists are in DC trying to kill climate legislation by whatever means necessary because....?
      Have an ice day!

      October 22, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • TimJohnson

      Randolph,

      Yes, very weak hurricane seasons. The Pakistan fiasco was the result of a very slow moving hurricane lingering over coastal land. Just like Katrina, it's not a particularly powerful Hurricane like Andrews in the 1990's, but devastating due to location and lingering. Hurricanes of greater scales were much more frequent both in the Pacific/Indian Ocean and Atlantic only a decade ago.

      Tony,
      Average global temperature rise only show up in ground station data, which suffer from urbanization. What used to be field observation stations in the middle of nowhere now turned into city blocks, which obviously have higher temperature due to heat island effect. Predictions derived from a set of data and checked against the same set of data is not verification at all. Global warming is taking place much much more slowly (if any at all) in the past decade than the predictions made only a little over a decade ago. In fact, there is strong evidence for global cooling taking place.

      October 22, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Pakistan flooding is now caused by a hurricane? Please cite your source on that one.

      October 22, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      I don't want to keep on harping on you Tim however what you are saying is just wrong.

      First on the issue of the Pakistan flooding, that was caused by monsoon rains. Unlike tropical systems (i.e., your hurricanes / typhoons) monsoons are annual shifts in wind direction. In this region of the world it shifts from air blowing off the land to the water, to a pattern where air is moving from the water onto land thus bring an annual rainy period.

      In regards to surface temperatures, readings are NOT taken in the middle of city blocks. more often than not they are taken at airports 2 meters off the surface. Yes meters. Someone in America actually uses the metrics system. Furthermore with global warming induced by increasing in CO2 temperatures you will see warming in the troposphere and a cooling (YES, a cooling) in the stratosphere. Previous warming (e.g., 10,000 years ago in mid-holocene) the warming was caused by increased solar radiation thanks to Mr. Milankovitch and his milankovitch cycles, there was warming everywhere in the atmosphere not in just the troposphere. Moral of the story is not all global warming is created equally.

      October 22, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Allison

    If we all just did the right thing- recycle, not choose toxic components to manufacturing, carpooled, and about 4 other things that are only just an inconvienance that people choose not to do- we would not have this problem. Unfortunatley, people are to lazy to think beyond thier own profit and consumerisim to care about anything else.

    Even if you don't believe in global warming why can't you do the right thing anyway? Are you too lazy or are you too stubborn?

    October 22, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • TimJohnson

      What do you mean by "carpool"? Billions of people in the world do not own car at all, why should you, a mere mundane, be allowed to own a car at all? Cars should be the exclusive domain of the important people, like government officials who are wise and know-it-all and can tell you to do that's good for you.

      October 22, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ima Teabagger

    Dis is jus' more librul properganda from soshalists who hate America and biznis. Join da tea party! Palin/Jindal 2012

    October 22, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
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