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Arctic Report Card: Update for 2016
Persistent warming trend and loss of sea ice are triggering extensive Arctic changes
Archive of previous Arctic Report Cards
2016 Arctic Report Card

About Arctic Report Card 2016

The Arctic Report Card (hereafter ‘ARC’) 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.

ARC 2016 contains 12 contributions (we like to call them essays) prepared by an international team of 61 scientists from 11 different countries. As in previous years, independent peer-review of ARC 2016 was organized by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) of the Arctic Council.

ARC 2016 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; Arctic Ocean Primary Productivity; and Tundra Greenness. The Indicators section is for topics which will be updated every 2-4 years, many of which have appeared in previous ARCs (e.g., Ocean Acidification, Ozone, Permafrost, Glaciers and Ice Caps, to name a few). 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 ARC 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 ARC 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 ARC in 2007 is available at Previous Report Cards. Click on these hyperlinks for a list of all ARC 2016 authors and their affiliations, and a list of references for all 12 essays.


Financial support for Arctic Report Card 2016 was provided by the Arctic Research Program in the NOAA Climate Program Office, and in-kind support was provided by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory. The editors thank AMAP for organizing the independent peer review.

How to Cite Arctic Report Card 2016

Citing the complete report:
J. Richter-Menge, J. E. Overland, and J. T. Mathis, Eds., 2016: Arctic Report Card 2016,

Citing an essay (example):
Derksen, C., R. Brown, L. Mudryk, and K. Luojus, 2016: Terrestrial Snow Cover [in Arctic Report Card 2016],

Media Contact Information

Monica Allen
NOAA Communications & NOAA Research

Banner Photograph

Image Credit: Sunset Panorama (Svalbard) by Luc Jamet via Flickr.


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

November 28, 2016

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