Date of this Version
Collectively, the observations indicate that the overall warming of the Arctic system continued in 2007. There are some elements that are stabilizing or returning to climatological norms. These mixed tendencies illustrate the sensitivity and complexity of the Arctic System.
Atmosphere: Hot spot shifts toward Europe
Ocean: North Pole Temperatures at depth returning to 1990s values
Sea Ice: Summer extent at record minimum
Greenland: Recent warm temperatures associated with net ice loss
Biology: increasing tundra shrub cover and variable treeline advance; up to 80% declines in some caribou herds while goose populations double
Land: Increase in permafrost temperatures
The Arctic Report Card 2007 is introduced as a means of presenting clear, reliable and concise information on recent observations of environmental conditions in the Arctic, relative to historical time series records. It provides a method of updating and expanding the content of the State of the Arctic Report, published in fall 2006, to reflect current conditions. Material presented in the Report Card is prepared by an international team of scientists and is peer-reviewed by topical experts nominated by the US Polar Research Board. The audience for the Arctic Report Card is wide, including scientists, students, teachers, decision makers and the general public interested in Arctic environment and science. The web-based format will facilitate future timely updates of the content.