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. eldono

    global warming has been occurring for around 12 to 15 thousand years. From around 1200 AD until 1900 or so there was what is called "The Little Ice Age". Who is to say the earth is just bouncing back from the Little Ice Age and trying to get where it would be if there were no Little Ice Age.

    October 22, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. rich hendricks

    We're jusr getting out of a prolonger solar minimum, yet there were still record high global temps. And now the Sun has begun to increase. The next 5 years are going to be brutal.

    Ask the Russians how many "climate skeptics" they have left after this summer's massive heatwave.

    That was just the beginning people. Worse is yet to come.

    Time to invest in an AC company.

    October 23, 2010 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  3. mememine69

    FINALLY!!!!!!! After hiding on mountains and polar caps and deep in far off jungles, we can at last experience this 24 year old climate crisis that is just OH SO shy it seems.
    Have fun with your fantasy.
    Here is my link to disprove climate change.
    “Scientists” are not saints my friends. Scientists not only polluted the planet with their chemicals, they also produced cruise missiles, cancer causing chemicals, land mine technology, nuclear weapons, germ warfare, strip mining technology, deep sea drilling technology and now climate change.
    What I find disturbing is how our climate change war has made neocons out of us, because just like the Iraq War and Bush's WMD's, so to goes our CO2 mistake that we used to condemn our children to a death by CO2.
    I'ts hard to just stay left or right. I'm going to vote strategicly when I see a change of power is needed. That time has come.
    System Change, not climate change
    We need love, not windmills and birth control, not climate control.
    We gave the public the impression that despite only bowing "they say" and no evidence besides bad weather, we seemed to be hoping for this climate misery to be true.
    The voters have the consenus that counts and besides, the government managing the weather and lowering the seas with taxes? Really?
    Let's let go of the CO2 mistake, otherwise history will call this irresponsible era of carbon phobia, Greenzism. But unlike the other "izm" that only hated Jews, Greenzism hated anyone with waste and wealth.
    Count this liberal out. Sorry. I take no joy in scaring my kids with death by CO2 just to get them to turn the lights out more often. Pollution was real. We get. Grow some.

    If a few hundred bankers can bankrupt the world economy, how far fetched is it to suggest a publicly tax funded Climate Change conspiracy at the UN, MET, NASA and ……………….GREENPEACE? A prediction isn’t a lie. It’s a free pass called Disco Science.
    When has anything ever been as bad as the media or science has said it will be? What if media had covered climate change science as well as they did Toyota? Spread Love, not Wind Mills. No, bad weather is not our fault now.

    October 23, 2010 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      One of those nuts, who believe politicians can tell us more up climate than climatologist. I'm sure your website is scholarly and based on accounts of around 10 scientists handpicked by Exxonmobile. It's funny how conservatives take something they don't want to believe in (because it would demand effort, money, and regulation to big business) so they spin out some conspiracy that everything is all right. You can pretend you know enough about climate change to claim you understand it enough to debunk it. This theory is a collective effort of thousands of scientists. You are not liberal, because liberal means a change in thinking to accommodate new evidence. And don't worry, third world countries are going to be hit the strongest by climate change, I'm sure USA will persevere since that's all you care about.

      October 23, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rob Hess

    Two words you need to know about, "positive feedback". No it's not when your politician of choice slaps you on the back and tells you how great you are. It's almost always a very negative phenonem. It occurs in mechanical systens, electonic systems, acoustic systems, fluid systems, social systems (read, "mob mentality"), and ,yes, climate systems. Preaching to preachers is a waste of time. I dare you to look it up and use your own brains, for a change. P.S. A very readable book that covers this as well as many other topics related to the NOAA article is _The_Flooded_Earth_ by Peter D. Ward. Good-bye Florida. (I'll miss the Everglades,though.)

    October 23, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tom Byers

    I say we should build a Perenno facility to preserve knowledge through a future dark age. Climate change is only one of several things that could cause civilization to collapse.

    October 24, 2010 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. Nickel

    Most biologists, natural scientists and others who make a study of the natural world agree there are many changes occuring on our world. According to established laws of thermodynamics heat migrates to cooler areas. That is why a hot cup of tea or coffee will cool down. That is what we are seeing today- heat is migrating via the oceans and atmosphere to the Artic. The natural world has changed drastically in the last 50-100 years and maybe a billion people are living on less than 2 dollars a day. As well, there is something like 30 million armed soldiers killing each other and civilians every day. Call it a liberal issue or conservative, it does not matter. It does not make the issues go away. Those that do not care about the earth or the people on it are lost souls.

    October 25, 2010 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
    • joe08

      See this is sort of the crux of the reason I distrust greenies. The idea of heat transfer and changed into a converstaion about wealth differences and wars. As if to say nature is punishing us for these attrocities. This turns the subject into a quasi-religious one and then the green objectives become moral one and focus is lost on finding a viable solution and placed on punishment or justice.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. Nickel

    As different climates in the world are altered the ones most at risk are the worlds poor. Haiti is a good example- a country where most of the trees have been cut down (check the history of Haiti out on Wikpedia) and hundreds of thousands live with poor water conditions, causing severe health problems. Many of the people helping in Haiti, that were on the ground before the earthquake and still down there are Christians . They were not down there because they were Greenies. I doubt if there is much of a cry that can be heard from Haiti's poor or rampant demands for justice or punishment from those voices. Viable solutions are hard to come by, but not impossible in areas like these.

    October 25, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. worieni

    Наткнулся на данную статью нечаянно. Но не сожелею. Новость очень понравилась. Очень интересно было прочитать:)

    December 6, 2010 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  9. Christina

    Every one just needs to face the truth the world is coming to an end , theres a book called 2008 gods final witness , written by ronald weinland . He is a prophet. look it up and see the truth its even free and wiil be sent to your home for free because people are ignorant of the truth and want to believe want they want witch is there choice. if people are worrying about nothing ,hu well its time to start.its already begun. the first trumphet has already been sounded 30 days after the seventh seal of revelation has opened on November,14,2008.The kind of suffering that will finally come to pass is horrific beyond comprehension .God is not bringing this massive destruction to mankind, but mankind is bringing it upon himself (it will be caused by man). IT'S NOT GOD YOU SHOULD FEAR IT'S YOUR GOVERNMENT!!!

    January 26, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
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