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Arctic Sea Ice in Transformation: A Review of Recent Observed Changes and Impacts on Biology and Human ActivitySea ice in the Arctic is one of the most rapidly changing components of the global climate system. Over the past few decades, summer areal extent has declined over 30, and all months show statistically significant declining trends. New satellite missions and techniques have greatly expanded information on sea ice thickness, but many uncertainties remain in the satellite data and long-term records are sparse. However, thickness observations and other satellite-derived data indicate a 40 decline in thickness, due in large part to the loss of thicker, older ice cover. The changes in sea ice are happening faster than models have projected. With continued increasing temperatures, summer ice-free conditions are likely sometime in the coming decades, though there are substantial uncertainties in the exact timing and high interannual variability will remain as sea ice decreases. The changes in Arctic sea ice are already having an impact on flora and fauna in the Arctic. Some species will face increasing challenges in the future, while new habitat will open up for other species. The changes are also affecting peoples living and working in the Arctic. Native communities are facing challenges to their traditional ways of life, while new opportunities open for shipping, fishing, and natural resource extraction.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Meier, Walter N.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Hovelsrud, Greta K.
(Center for International Climate and Environmental Research Oslo, Norway)
van Oort, Bob E. H.
(Center for International Climate and Environmental Research Oslo, Norway)
Key, Jeffrey R.
(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Madison, WI, United States)
Kovacs, Kit M.
(Norwegian Polar Inst. Tromso, Norway)
Michel, Christine
(Department of Fisheries and Oceans Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)
Haas, Christian
(Calgary Univ. Alberta, Canada)
Granskog, Mats A.
(Norwegian Polar Inst. Tromso, Norway)
Gerland, Sebastian
(Norwegian Polar Inst. Tromso, Norway)
Perovich, Donald K.
(Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab. Hanover, NH, United States)
Makshtas, Alexander
(Arctic and Antarctic Scientific Research Inst. Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation)
Reist, James D.
(Department of Fisheries and Oceans Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)
Date Acquired
October 15, 2014
Publication Date
May 7, 2014
Subject Category
Geosciences (General)
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
Sea Ice
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