2020 Arctic Report Card Fail: End of Road for Cold Arctic, Highs, Lows

The End of the Road for a Cold Arctic: Arctic Report Card 2020 Highlights & Lowlights: Part 1 of 3 // Dec 12, 2020

Arctic Report Card 2020 (ARC2020):  Result: FAIL
Summary: Out with the Cold; in with the Hot
Consequences: Dire

1) Average annual land surface air temperature north of 60 degrees for October 2019 – September 2020 was the second highest on record since at least 1900.

2) Sea ice loss in Spring 2020 was particularly early in the east Siberian Sea and Laptev Sea regions; end of summer sea ice melt extent was second lowest behind 2012.

3) August mean sea surface temperatures in 2020 were 1 to 3 degrees C warmer than the 1982-2010 August mean over most of the Arctic Ocean, with exceptionally warm temperatures in the Laptev and Kara seas that coincided with the early loss of sea ice in this region.

4) During July and August 2020, regional ocean primary productivity in the Laptev Sea was 2 times higher for July and 6 times higher for August compared to their respective monthly averages.

5) Bowhead whale populations increased due to increased in ocean primary productivity.

6) Shifts in air temperatures, storminess, sea ice and ocean conditions have combined to increase coastal erosion rates circumventing the Arctic.

7) Exceptional warm Spring air temperatures across Siberia resulted in record low June snow cover extent across the Eurasian Arctic.

8) Extreme wildfires in 2020 in the Sakha Republic of northern Russia coincided with unparalleled warm air temperatures and record snow loss in the region.

9) Tundra greenness trends diverged strongly with a sharp decline in North America and rise above long-term average in Eurasia.

10) Greenland Ice Sheet experienced higher ice loss than 1981-2010 average, but substantially lower than record 2018/19 loss.

11) Glaciers and ice sheets outside of Greenland have continued a trend of significant ice loss, dominated largely by ice loss from Alaska and Arctic Canada.

Ref 1: About Arctic Report Card 2020:  ‘The Arctic Report Card (hereafter ‘ARC’) has been issued annually since 2006. It is a timely and peer-reviewed source for clear, reliable, and concise environmental information on the current state of different components of the Arctic environmental system relative to historical records. The ARC is intended for a wide audience, including scientists, teachers, students, decision-makers, policymakers, and the general public, interested in the Arctic environment and science.’


Ref 2:  ‘Global warming has profoundly transformed Arctic in just 15 years, report warns‘, Dec 8, 2020, by Andrew Freedman.

The Arctic as we once knew it, an inhospitable, barely accessible and icebound place, is gone. Climate change has transformed it into a region that can heat up to 100 degrees, is beset by ferocious wildfires, and is covered in permafrost that is no longer permanent. The sea ice cover that has long defined the Far North is fast disappearing. This is the picture from a new international scientific assessment released Tuesday.


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The Arctic Heat Emergency Goes Global And That’s Bad News:  Posted on December 9, 2020, by Radio Ecoshock.

In 2020, the Arctic was hotter than ever (podcast, CD quality) changing weather and climate (Lo-Fi) around the world. We investigate breaking news; science with our friendly Canadian scientist Paul H. Beckwith. Paul is now the largest single source of climate videos on YouTube.
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About paulbeckwith

Well known climate science educator; Part-time Geography professor (climatology, oceanography, environmental issues), University of Ottawa. Physicist. Engineer. Master's Degree in Science in Laser Optics, Bachelors of Engineering, in Engineering Physics. Won Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario gold medal. Also interested in investment and start-ups in climate solutions, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Avid chess player, and likes restoring old homes. Married with children.
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