U.S. Department of Commerce


Date of this Version



Published in Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society Volume 88, Issue 6 (June 2007); DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-88-6-929


On the heels of 2005’s record-breaking weather events, 2006 was also a year of records. This was especially the case over the polar regions, where the largest Antarctic ozone hole on record occurred in 2006. Sea ice extent in the Antarctic reached records at times for both maximum and minimum extent, and in the Arctic, scientists observed the second smallest sea ice extent on record (behind 2005). These record events came as attention to the polar regions gained greater focus, thanks in large part to the International Polar Year, during which an unprecedented effort is underway to monitor the Arctic and Antarctic from March 2007 through March 2009.