WASHINGTON, Oct. 22 (UPI) — The arctic continues to heat up, affecting local populations and ecosystems as well as weather patterns in most of the Northern Hemisphere, U.S. scientists say.
The findings were released Thursday in the Arctic Report Card, a yearly assessment of arctic conditions, ScienceDaily.com reported.
Among the findings, researchers say Greenland is experiencing record-setting high temperatures, ice melt and glacier area loss, and that summer sea ice continues to decline with the 2009-2010 extent the third lowest since satellite monitoring began in 1979.
“To quote one of my NOAA colleagues, ‘whatever is going to happen in the rest of the world happens first, and to the greatest extent, in the arctic,’” Jane Lubchenco, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration administrator, said.
“The arctic is an important driver of climate and weather around the world and serves as a critical feeding and breeding ground that supports globally significant populations of birds, mammals and fish,” she said.
NOAA’s Climate Program Office introduced the annual Arctic Report Card in 2006 to establish a baseline of conditions at the beginning of the 21st century to monitor the quickly changing conditions in the arctic.
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