Arctic Still Warming Faster Than Anywhere Else on Earth
Despite natural variations like a slight increase in sea ice thickness last March, the Arctic is warming twice as fast as anywhere else on Earth and seeing continuing change due to rising air and sea temperatures, reports the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in its latest Arctic report card.
“Snow cover extent in April 2014 in Eurasia was the lowest since 1967 and sea ice extent in September was the sixth-lowest since 1979,” the agency notes. “Polar bears numbers in western Hudson Bay and the southern Beaufort Sea are decreasing in connection with a decrease in the availability of sea ice.”
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Nearly 40% of the Greenland ice sheet “experienced melting conditions” in summer 2014, and its reflectivity reached a new record low in August. “Sea surface temperatures and primary production are increasing as the sea ice retreats throughout the Arctic Ocean.”