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. Will

    How can this climate change be happening??? Conservatives say that there is no such thing as "global warming" or a changing environment due to human activity. And, if the Right says it doesn't exist....well....then these Yale, Harvard, and MIT-trained scientists have ALL got to be wrong! Yeah! (Heck, we will find Manhattan Island to be eventually covered in water due to the melting ice caps, yet the Right will STILL blame it on something like "a leaky sewer!")

    October 22, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Remember, Everyone thought the world was flat also. This climate change stuff, is more like a religon, you believe it is happening because of humans, or you don't. It's a feeling. Because science has not been around since the beginning of time. It cannot predict the future, and most reasonable peaple know that. Live your life to it's fullest, and let the planet figure it out. Your just an ant waiting to be squished.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • tx

      Do you honestly believe that there is anthing that humans can do to reverse changing weather patterns? That is like asking a fire ant colony to stop a freight train. If Manhattan is ten feet under water in a hundred years, then it shouldn't have been built in a flood zone.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bob

    Climate Patterns change naturally.. Whether Human activity adds to the speed of this change, seems very possible.. Either way humanity needs to prepare for these changes or perish..

    October 22, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Don

    If you are really worry about global warming, than stop re-producing, stop eating meat, stop driving car, stop watching television. Over population is the biggest cause and no one is addressing it since it is not PC to talk about it. We destroy the forest to make room for new cities, farm land, drill for oil to fuel our needs for energy. Solar and wind will not be able to meet all the demand for energy and we don't want to go nuclear. Well, all your eco-religious zealous, make up your mind. Put your money where your mouth is. Talk is cheap. One child per family and if you are not productive or able to contribute to society, than you must be terminated. That will take care of half or more of the earth population. Then we will not need all the car, won't have to destroy the forest, spend as much resources. Sooner or later, we will all die anyway.

    October 22, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Either we control the population or mother nature will do it for US. But I do not think it is Eco-Greenies that are against birth control.. I think it is the Conservative Catholic Church..

      October 22, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      "If you are really worry about global warming, than stop re-producing, stop eating meat, stop driving car, stop watching television." Yes, and if we continue on our path of denial, it seems those luxuries will be taken away anyways. Your assertions are inadequate because they suggest a false dilemma between the current state of living and utter poverty. Somewhere in between there is a sustainable way of living without so much waste.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Benbo

      Ok. With a comment like that, I'm sure you would be the first to be targeted for termination. You asked for it.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      It's not the Catholic Church! You need to go visit China, Africa, and the Middle East. Italy is the center of the Catholic Church, and they have a negitive population growth. Trying to blame religion with no facts is called being dumb.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Population is very close to hitting a high point, and in fact, will start to decrease in the next 10 years. Regardless if global warming is real or false, why is it so bad to clean up our air, our water, our soil? Conservatives have to take it to extremes, either "you're with us or against us" mentality, and it truly sucks. It wreaks of ignorant behavior. It would be nice to have rivers to fish, clean air to breath, and rich soil to farm.

      October 22, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Hogs

    It is all meaningless. The end is coming. Are you ready?

    October 22, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • SDCyclist

      Sure... the end is coming. Study a little anthropology and you quickly learn that humans have believed "the end is near" at least since the beginning of recorded history. Every generation in every culture has some "provision" or caveat for the "end times." It's a part of every culture. The truth will set you free. The "end times" begin in about 4 billion years when the sun starts to burn its last remaining fuel and we're all cooked. Personally, I'm not losing sleep over it. The human race will be long-gone by then. We'll be a footnote in the history of earth and there won't be a single thing left on the planet that indicates we were ever here.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • LTB

      Oh, and by the way, HAVE A NICE DAY!

      October 22, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • DoubleDose

      Cults tend to believe the end is coming. Shut up!

      October 22, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Larry coffey

    To people who is worried about the climate don't worry. God created us and everything to go with it, put your trust in him and let god heal the earth he can do alot quicker than we can. I have a suggestion start dumping ice into the ocean, thank you and god bless

    October 22, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • cedarrapids

      Best sarcastic post I have read today, brilliant, loved it :-)

      October 22, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • JayM

      Wow... I really hope that was sarcastic. If not, I plan on praying to god to halt the Theory of Gravity so I can fly to work. Its only a theory, right? That doesn't make it fact. And even if it was a fact, god could stop it because I asked him to.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • SDCyclist

      While you're throwing ice in the ocean please consider adding the following ingredients. It's Friday. It's 5:00 somewhere...

      Dirty Martini
      ---------–
      60ml (or approx 2 oz) Gin
      10ml (or approx 1/4 oz) Dry Vermouth
      5ml (or approx 1/8 oz) olive brine
      3 green olives (add or remove olives to your taste)
      small wedge of lemon (optional)

      October 22, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bull

      LOL.Good one. When in doubt,just blame everything on God.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • talon10

      Ha ha. Good one. I'll toss in a few ice cubes on your behalf.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • DoubleDose

      I supposed God is the reason the ozone layer is still there to protect us from the radiation of the sun. Yeah, I'm pretty sure that a group of people got together and realize that CFC's were destroying the ozone so policy was put in place to stop the use of CFC's. Low and behold, we still have its protection.

      God does not dictate the way we handle to earth. We have free will and we can decide to destroy the earth or make it a place worth living. So don't give me this garbabe about putting all my faith in God's hands. This planet is in our hands, given by some higher power, and it is our responsiblity to take care of it. Don't be a pansy.

      October 22, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Your point is empirically challenged on the God thing. Praying to God is great, but expecting him to do something independently based on your prayer and faith is broken. There are numerous occasions where praying to God have not improved the situation. The only rational conclusion is to act as if he isn't going to help. I will emphasize this is consistent with prayer. Teach a man to fish and he will live a full live. Teach a man to pray, and he will die praying for fish. Point is while prayer is great – the man still has to fish.

      October 22, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. exactaman

    Ok.....lets see here now........lets get to the truth....shall we? You see if your a republican....then your goal is to remove restrictions on big business (you know the guys with all the money) and then they can continue to make more and more big money to finance their big cars...homes...vacations....while the little guys starve to death....and burn up from an environment...that was neglected for money and wealth.

    October 22, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • K from AZ

      Your undefinable air of stupidity and the regurgitation of the 'party' line is getting old. You should move to Cuba or Venezuela among your own kind. Just a respectful suggestion.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. cf

    is anyone here posting comments an actual climatologist? Or are you all talking out of your asses based on what some talking head sponsored by ExxonMobil told you on the TV?

    get a friggin' grip, people!

    October 22, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DGL

    When someone can prove to me the earth and universe are static than come to me and I'll concede that humans are causing these problems.

    October 22, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • cedarrapids

      what? what kind of argument is that? Its like suggesting mankind cannot pollute oceans because the moon makes tides.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      We are not static. The earth doesn't mind going back to a frozen wasteland but for my sake and my kids sake it would be cool if we didn't.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glow

      I agree with DGL. The world is not static. Mother nature for millions of years is continuosly evolving and changing – Gee, were we creating pollution from our last snow age melt??? Wasn't the Sahara dessert once covered in snow? You can go to Central Park and you will see evidence of the last snow age in the rock formations.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • DGL

      Really, a universe that is in a constant chaotic state can't cause climate change?

      October 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joe

    I'm not quite understanding the whole paranoid conspiracy angle on anthropogenic global warming. Are we pretending that the solar power industry or recycling industries have more power (and advertising) than the automotive or oil industries? Are we pretending thsi is some deep eco-hippie cabal to somehow make life miserable by erecting windmills?

    October 22, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • cedarrapids

      Nah apparently its some 40 year+ plot to introduce socialism from what I read.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Z

      Yes, Michael Crichton detailed all of this in his hard-hitting piece of investigative journalism, State of Fear.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      I concur. Truly an age on confusion; somehow novels (State of Fear, The Da Vinci Code) are interpreted as fact when in fact they are fictions.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • tx

      You forgot to mention that nutcase Al Gore and his make believe movie.

      October 22, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Frank

    Who's to say man's reason for being from a planetary perspective wasn't to recycle carbon from beneath the ground into the atmosphere? Maybe this is exactly the way things were meant to be...

    October 22, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • lowland solution

      Nice! I like it.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Steve

    the politicization of this topic has ensured that nothing will be done on it, so articles like this are now basically just an FYI. Ultimately we will all be held accountable for allowing the denigration of science to go unchecked. Truly the downfall of democracy is giving power and a voice to the morons of society.

    October 22, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve B

      Great post. Completely agree. This is the problem with the whole of the US. Everything is so vitriol and politicized, nothing can get done. People dedicate their lives to atmospheric study but their opinions are lies because they will somehow get rich? The only one that stands to lose are the big energy companies who contribute billions to the spin makers to keep enough FUD out there they can keep profiting from our futures. Its like calling your Dr a liar for diagnosing you with cancer saying he's a fraud who just wants to bilk my insurance company.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    I'm just amazed that folks think pumping toxins into the environment isn't going to hurt someone somwhere.

    October 22, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • tx

      Hey Mike, prove that it has.

      October 22, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • DoubleDose

      Hey tx, did CFCs create a huge ozone hole? Yes it did. Was it necessary for humans to change there behavior to correct that? Yes, and we did. You can't make an argument that we would be better off if we hadn't stopped the use of CFCs.

      This debate is centered around a similar premise. The problem is that our ability to notice the change that is occurring isn't so obvious as a the giant ozone hole. But there is scientific evidence and consensus, 97% of the scientific community, which shows we are creating the warming that we are beginning to see.

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

    Why do humans have to dust their homes every so often?

    October 22, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. thinking_outside_the_box

    Does it really matter if Global Warming is real or not? Isn't it just a GOOD idea NOT to pollute the environment ANYWAY? Not polluting is a WIN for everyone regardless if it causes Global Warming or not!

    October 22, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • someoneelse

      i don't agree that global warming/climate change will be the death of humanity, but i do agree with your point. the problem is that people have become so entrenched and invested in their own beliefs that the agument becomes about doomsday and the end of the world, instead of common sense and what we can all agree on. yes, putting chemicals into the air is bad, and pollution is disgusting and harms people. try starting the conversation with smaller points that everyone can agree on, instead of skipping to the apocalypse.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • DoubleDose

      Good points. Thanks for the civility.

      October 22, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Neil

    Its a cycle. Human data collection is limited to 200 years or less. On a planet that is millions of years old the fact is that we know nothing. Its like basing the outcome of a football game on the first 10 seconds. Science has been proven to be inadequate 100 percent of the time. For example, the earth revovles aroud the sun, the earth is flat and on and on. The more we learn the less we realize that we know. This is just natural phenomenon. The only variable is the size of the readers ego.

    October 22, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gman

      You trying to tell us it is too early to know, but then you tell us that you know that it is just a natural phenomenon. Makes sense.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Thanks for the words of comfort Neil. As a climate scientist, how many ice cores have you examined and what methodology did you employ to reach your conclusion? I would really like to read the article you wrote, had vetted, and published that supports your conclusion.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve B

      You are wrong. We can go back and look back thousands of years through ice core samples. There is a distinct correlation to the amount of CO2 in the air and the raising temperatures. The world science community agrees with this theory.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zeel

      I love it. Redacted logic is always the best kind. "Science is proved wrong", yeah? And what exactly proved flat earth, geocentric, etc, etc theories wrong? SCIENCE.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jewels

      It is simply not true that there are only 200 years of data on climate. Tree rings, fossils and all sorts of other data give detailed information on ancient climates. Of course, if you don't believe in fossil data, there is not much more to say.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • AbBcC

      Fossil fuels are basically carbon bonds that have been 'removed' from the carbon cycle. So, what happens when you pull that stored carbon up from the depths of the earth, then break the bonds and release them into the atmosphere as CO2? You increase CO2. Recall that the last time those fuels were circulating in the carbon cycle was during the carboniferous period. And we're brining it all back up, and FAST. While climate science is decidedly NOT simple, the basic chemistry is. If y'all want to be so certain you know more than all those PhD physicists out there studying climate, you ought to take graduate course in atmospheric science. I dare you.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      There is, perhaps, no greater hypocrisy than saying that Global Warming is nothign but a natural 50,000 year cycle. How do you come to the notion that it is a cycle? Well, because scientists have proven that there is a cycle of that magnitude. So , for those purposes, the scientists are right. But if a scientist says that this is a more dramatic, much shorter cycle, with clear evidence of human impact, the scientists have no idea what they are saying?!?!?!

      Do you people even listen to yourselves?

      October 22, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • DoubleDose

      Zeel, exactly! Neil, you are brainless. Science is proved wrong %100 percent of the time?????? Absolute trash. Yea, the hydrolic pressure in the break lines of your car which allows you to stop has nothing to do with the advancement of science. I hope you are right and you car wreaks into a telephone pole. A telephone pole which holds up wires which transmit your voice and messages like this over great distances. The fact that you are online right now is because of science and all it does for the world. Listen to scientists when they talk, they are not spewing BS like you!!!!

      October 22, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
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