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Arctic Report Card

Tracking recent environmental changes relative to historical records

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What's New?

Arctic shows no sign of returning to reliably frozen region of recent past decades

Despite relatively cool summer temperatures, observations in 2017 continue to indicate that the Arctic environmental system has reached a 'new normal', characterized by long-term losses in the extent and thickness of the sea ice cover, the extent and duration of the winter snow cover and the mass of ice in the Greenland Ice Sheet and Arctic glaciers, and warming sea surface and permafrost temperatures.

About the Arctic Report Card

Issued annually since 2006, the Arctic Report Card is a timely and peer-reviewed source for clear, reliable and concise environmental information on the current state of different components of the Arctic environmental system relative to historical records.

The Report Card is intended for a wide audience, including scientists, teachers, students, decision-makers and the general public interested in the Arctic environment and science.

Image Credit:  Icebergs (Ilulisat, Vestgronland, Greenland) by Greenland Travel via Flickr

Report Card Highlights

The average surface air temperature for the year ending September 2017 is the 2nd warmest since 1900; however, cooler spring and summer temperatures contributed to a rebound in snow cover in the Eurasian Arctic, slower summer sea ice loss, and below-average melt extent for the Greenland ice sheet.

The sea ice cover continues to be relatively young and thin with older, thicker ice comprising only 21% of the ice cover in 2017 compared to 45% in 1985.

In August 2017, sea surface temperatures in the Barents and Chukchi seas were up to 4° C warmer than average, contributing to a delay in the autumn freeze-up in these regions.

Pronounced increases in ocean primary productivity, at the base of the marine food web, were observed in the Barents and Eurasian Arctic seas from 2003 to 2017.

Arctic tundra is experiencing increased greenness and record permafrost warming.

Pervasive changes in the environment are influencing resource management protocols, including those established for fisheries and wildfires.

The unprecedented rate and global reach of Arctic change disproportionally affect the people of northern communities, further pressing the need to prepare for and adapt to the new Arctic.

Focus Areas //

Arctic Report Card

Tracking recent environmental changes relative to historical records



Conserving and managing our Arctic Ocean resources


Providing weather information to protect lives, property, and management



Observing the Arctic ocean and atmosphere to understand and forecast Arctic change



Providing environmental intelligence to understanding the complex Arctic system



Conserving and managing Arctic living marine resources and their habitats




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