ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Arctic in 2011 was warmer, greener and with less ice cover than the past, with implications for whales, polar bears, walruses and human development, according to the National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration’s yearly Arctic Report Card released Thursday.
The report card represents a year of research by an international team of 121 scientists, who track atmosphere, marine ecosystems, hydrology, sea ice and terrestrial ecosystems in the fast-changing Arctic.
NOAA used a color-coded system to rank change levels, tagging Arctic atmosphere, sea ice and hydrology as undergoing “significant change” in 2011.
Major findings included:
-A heightened near-surface air temperature. In 2011, the near-surface temperature of the Arctic Ocean was 2.5 degrees more than the 1981-2010 period.