National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce
Melting sea ice in the Chukchi sea in June 2016 seen from the NOAA Twin Otter aircraft
Instrumented wave glider with Alaska glacier - Evans
Pelagic Trawl nets sample fish in the water column - Alex Andrews
North Pole with rainbow on July 5, 2010
Launching saildrone in Dutch Harbor AK ©Saildrone Inc. 2015

What's New

December 09, 2020

NOAA’s 15th Arctic Report Card catalogs for 2020 the numerous ways that climate change continues to disrupt the polar region, with second-highest air temperatures and second-lowest summer sea ice driving a cascade of impacts, including the loss of snow and extraordinary wildfires in northern Russia. The sustained transformation to a warmer, less frozen and biologically changed Arctic remains clear. 

The average annual land-surface air temperature in the Arctic measured between October 2019 and September 2020 was the second-warmest since record-keeping began in 1900, and was responsible for driving a cascade of impacts across Arctic ecosystems during the year. Nine of the past 10 years saw air temperatures at least 1 degree C above (2.2 degrees F) the 1981-2010 mean. Arctic temperatures for the past six years have all exceeded previous records.Record warm temperatures in the Eurasian Arctic were associated with extreme conditions in the ocean and on the land.

Sea ice loss in spring 2020 was particularly early in the East Siberian Sea and Laptev Sea regions, setting new record lows in the Laptev Sea for June. The end of summer sea ice extent in 2020 was the second lowest in the 42-year satellite record, with 2012 being the record minimum year. Overall thickness of the sea ice... more

In the News

July 15, 2021

For Arctic scientists, the summer of 2007 changed everything. That’s when, for the first time in history, record... more

March 05, 2021

In late February, as the Southern Plains and Gulf Coast suffered through an unusually strong blast of wintry weather... more

December 08, 2020

Bitterly cold, frozen and inhospitable to nearly all wildlife apart from polar bears. This is the image of the... more