Ice (source: Getty Images)2014 has been a very warm year in the Arctic. According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), for instance, 2014 has been the second warmest year ever recorded in Finland after 1938 (when it was just 0.15 degrees Celsius warmer): temperatures were 1,6 C  higher than long term average (1981- 2010) . In addition, meteorologists recorded an unusually long summer, 50 days of heat  (14 days more than usual), a mild winter, and, in some areas, October hits warmer than midsummer. In a note released by the FMI last December, "over the past 166 years, the average temperature in Finland has risen by more than two degrees. During the observation period, the average increase was 0.14 degrees per decade, which is nearly twice as much as the global average."

In the meanwhile in Alaska, data released on January 1 by the National Weather Service have showed that average temperatures around the country were above normal. For Anchorage, 2014 was the first calendar year without  the official temperature falling below 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17.7 C).

In Greenland, the Polar Portal Season Report 2014 released by Danish Arctic research institutions (DMI, DTU, GEUS) considered year 2014 in above average for the amount of melting from the Greenland Ice Sheet in the period since 2002, but, on the other hand, Arctic sea ice was strengthened in 2014.

The report highlights the most important results of climate monitoring in the Arctic in 2014 as:

  • The Greenland Ice Sheet contributed approximately 1.2 mm to sea-level rise;
  • Below average reflection of sunlight is associated with increased melting from the Greenland Ice Sheet in 2014;
  • The surface mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet was lower than normal, but not record low;
  • Arctic sea ice strengthened in 2014;
  • A new temperature record was established in west Greenland in June 2014;
  • There were no exceptional changes in the movements of glacier fronts in Greenland.

Read more: Alaska Dispatch News, Arctic Journal