2011 Report Card highlights (quoted from NOAA Press Release, available here):

  • 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.