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Arctic Report Card with Professor Perovich

Dec 18, 2013   |   NOAA

Donald Perovich
Dartmouth engineering professor Don Perovich was one of three experts to unveil NOAA's 2013 Arctic Report Card—an international effort involving 147 scientists from 14 countries.

Though not as extreme as last year, the Arctic continues to show evidence of a shift to a new warmer, greener state:

According to a new report released by NOAA and its partners, cooler temperatures in the summer of 2013 across the central Arctic Ocean, Greenland and northern Canada moderated the record sea ice loss and extensive melting that the surface of the Greenland ice sheet experienced last year. Yet there continued to be regional extremes, including record low May snow cover in Eurasia and record high summer temperatures in Alaska.

“The Arctic caught a bit of a break in 2013 from the recent string of record-breaking warmth and ice melt of the last decade,” said David M. Kennedy, NOAA’s deputy under secretary for operations, during a press briefing at the American Geophysical Union annual meeting in San Francisco. “But the relatively cool year in some parts of the Arctic does little to offset the long-term trend of the last 30 years: the Arctic is warming rapidly, becoming greener and experiencing a variety of changes, affecting people, the physical environment, and marine and land ecosystems.”

Kennedy joined other scientists [including Dartmouth engineering professor Don Perovich] to release the 2013 Arctic Report Card, which has, since 2006, summarized changing conditions in the Arctic. One hundred forty-seven authors from 14 countries contributed to the peer-reviewed report.

"In summary, I’d say that 2013 was another year in the new normal of reduced Arctic sea ice," added Perovich at the press briefing. "As the sea ice retreats, the open ocean absorbs sunlight and the surface of the ocean warms. The longterm warming trend has implications for other components of the Arctic system, including the marine and terrestrial ecosystems."

Measurements in the Arctic
Professor Donald Perovich measures ice-albedo feedback in the Arctic to assess rates of climate change. (This image appeared in "Cold Truths" in the Winter 2012 issue of Dartmouth Engineer magazine.)

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