The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, and scientists are seeing the effects across ice and ecosystems. The average annual air temperature over Arctic land is now 3.5°C (6.5°F) warmer than it was 1900, Greenland is experiencing longer melting seasons, and this year’s spring snow cover extent set a record low in the North American Arctic, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s newly released 2016 Arctic Report Card.
Understanding these changes is becoming increasingly important for economic planning and national security in many countries, as well as for the daily lives of people whose communities are directly affected.
Marco Tedesco, a glaciologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the lead author of the Arctic Report Card chapter on Greenland, described some of the changes he has been seeing in Greenland during a news conference today for the report’s release during the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco.
It’s going to get ugly exponentially.