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Arctic Report Card: Update for 2015
Warmer air and sea, declining ice continue to trigger Arctic change
Archive of previous Arctic Report Cards
2015 Arctic Report Card

About the 2015 Report Card

The Arctic Report Card (hereafter the Report Card) has been issued annually since 2006. It 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.

Report Card 2015 contains 12 contributions (we like to call them essays) prepared by an international team of 72 scientists from 11 different countries. As in previous years, independent peer-review of Report Card 2015 was organized by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) of the Arctic Council.

Report Card 2015 is organized into three sections: Vital Signs, Indicators and Frostbites. The Vital Signs section is for annual updates on the same seven topics: Air Temperature; Terrestrial Snow Cover; Greenland Ice Sheet; Sea Ice; Sea Surface Temperature; Ocean Primary Productivity; and Tundra Greenness. The Indicators section is for topics (e.g., Ozone, UV Radiation, Permafrost, Glaciers and Ice Caps, to name a few) that have appeared in previous Report Cards and which will be updated every 2-4 years. The Frostbites section is for reports on new and newsworthy items, describing emerging issues, and addressing topics that relate to long-term scientific observations in the Arctic.

People occasionally ask questions such as “How are essay topics selected?” or “Why is topic X not in the Arctic Report Card?” The short answer is that each Report Card strives to include some new topics as well as recurrent topics, and thus cover many topics over a period of years. In this way the Report Card can achieve a comprehensiveness over time that is not possible given the severe time constraints in its production. A complete list of topics covered since the first publication of the Report Card in 2007 is available at Previous Report Cards. Click on these hyperlinks for a list of all Report Card 2015 authors and their affiliations, and a list of references for all 12 essays.


Financial support for Arctic Report Card 2015 was provided by the Arctic Research Program in the NOAA Climate Program Office, and in-kind support was provided by the Office of Naval Research. The editors thank AMAP for organizing the independent peer review. Acknowledgments for individual essays are consolidated here.

How to cite Arctic Report Card 2015

Citing the complete report:
M. O. Jeffries, J. Richter-Menge, and J. E. Overland, Eds., 2015: Arctic Report Card 2015,

Citing an essay (example):
Derksen, C., R. Brown, L. Mudryk, and K. Luojus, 2015: Snow [in Arctic Report Card 2015],

Media Contact Information

John Ewald
NOAA Communications & External Affairs
iPhone: 240-429-6127
Twitter: @johnnoaa

Banner Photograph

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

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Download Arctic Report Card video transcripts and mp4 files from NOAA PMEL’s repository.

November 25, 2015

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