Arctic Report Card 2023

Arctic Report Card 2023

News: The Arctic Report Card is an annual report issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

About:
• It provides clear, reliable, and concise environmental information on the current state of different components of the Arctic environmental system relative to historical records.
• The 2023 Arctic Report Card was released on December 12, 2023. It brought together 82 Arctic scientists from around the world to assess the Arctic’s vital signs, the changes underway, and their effects on lives across the region and around the world.

Key Findings:
• The report highlighted shifting seasons and climate-driven disturbances, such as wildfires, extreme weather, and unusual wildlife mortality events. These disturbances are becoming increasingly difficult to assess within the context of what has been previously considered normal.
• Record-Breaking Temperatures: The summer sea surface air temperatures during 2023 were the warmest ever observed in the Arctic.
• Melting of Greenland’s Ice Sheet: The highest point of Greenland’s ice sheet experienced melting for only the fifth time in its 34-year record.
• Human-Caused Warming: The report documents new records showing that human-caused warming of the air, ocean, and land is affecting people, ecosystems, and communities across the Arctic region. The Arctic region is heating up faster than any other part of the world.
• Subsea Permafrost Thawing: The 2023 Arctic Report Card delves into the underexplored realm of subsea permafrost, a hidden danger escalating due to warmer ocean temperatures. With vast expanses of subsea permafrost thawing, the release of methane and carbon dioxide poses a serious threat to global warming and ocean acidification.

Impacts on Indigenous Communities: Disrupted Lives and Livelihoods
• Indigenous communities: Arctic inhabitants, particularly indigenous communities, are grappling with tangible effects of climate change.
• Shifts in sea ice patterns: Shifts in sea ice patterns, unreliable river ice for travel, and the sinking of infrastructure
due to thawing permafrost are disrupting traditional ways of life.
• Western Alaska: The article sheds light on the struggles of Indigenous communities in Western Alaska, where
the decline of Chinook salmon jeopardizes cultural practices and food security, underscoring the human dimension of climate change.

Way Forward:
• As temperatures in the Arctic soar at a rate three times faster than the global average, the 2023 Arctic Report Card serves as a stark reminder of the risks associated with climate change. The urgency for collective action to address climate change and protect the Arctic ecosystem has never been more apparent

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