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Report Card 2015

Photos and Animations for 2015 Report Card

Scenery (also see photos used in video, below) Arctic snow melt June 28, 2014, Central Arctic Management Area (collection)Photos by Bob Wick, Wilderness Specialist for the BLM’s National Conservation Lands Arctic snow covered tundra in winter, January 19, 2014Credit: John Winkelman Alaska National Guard fights Alaska wildfires, June 26, 2015Credit: Sherman Hogue Smoke from fire

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2015 Headlines

Maximum sea ice extent on 25 February was 15 days earlier than average and the lowest value on record (1979-present). Minimum ice extent in September was the 4th lowest on record. Sea ice continues to be younger and thinner: in February and March 2015 there was twice as much first-year ice as there was 30 years ago.

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Fig. 1.3. Geopotential height (700 mb) anomalies from November 2014 to June 2015 over western North America and the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Surface Air Temperature

Arctic air temperatures are both an indicator and a driver of regional and global changes. Although there are year-to-year and regional differences in air temperatures due to natural random variability, the magnitude and Arctic-wide character of the long-term temperature increase is a major indicator of global warming (Overland 2009). Here we report on the spatial and temporal variability of Arctic air temperatures during the period October 2014 through September 2015, the 12-month period since the end of the previous reporting period (Overland et al. 2014).

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