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Dissolving Sea Ice, South of Svalbard (Photo: Peter Prokosch - 2011 Arctic Report Card has been published. Amongst the results are significant changes in the atmosphere and the sea ice and the ocean.

The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) issues the Arctic Report Card annually The Arctic Report Card is a timely source for clear, reliable and concise environmental information on the state of the Arctic, relative to historical time series records.

Among the 2011 highlights are:

Atmosphere: In 2011, the average annual near-surface air temperatures over much of the Arctic Ocean were approximately 2.5° F (1.5° C) greater than the 1981-2010 baseline period.

Sea ice: Minimum Arctic sea ice area in September 2011 was the second lowest recorded by satellite since 1979.

Ocean: Arctic Ocean temperature and salinity may be stabilizing after a period of warming and freshening. Acidification of sea water (“ocean acidification”) as a result of carbon dioxide absorption has also been documented in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

Land: Arctic tundra vegetation continues to increase and is associated with higher air temperatures over most of the Arctic land mass.

Click here to read more on the NOAA website.

Here is a video from NOAA about the report.