Warming trends remain the focus for the Arctic

The ice covering the Bering is the farthest south it has been in nearly a decade
The ice covering the Bering is the farthest south it has been in nearly a decade
Published: Dec. 18, 2022 at 10:32 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The annual Arctic Report Card for 2022 shows that while the past year hasn’t been the warmest on record or shown the lowest sea ice levels, it reveals the patterns in the Arctic that have been trending for decades continue, primarily that the Arctic continues to warm more than twice as fast as the rest of the world.

“I think this year’s report card highlights really the changes that have been underway for a long time, a couple decades now, that it’s been very obvious in the Arctic continue,” Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy Climate Specialist Rick Thoman said.

For the first time, this report includes a look at precipitation in the Arctic from a broad scale.

“In addition to analyzing things like annual precipitation amounts and their trends, the precipitation essay also looked at extreme precipitation events, and those are also increasing across the Arctic, of course, different ways, different places,” Thoman said. “Merbok was a good example of an extreme precipitation event, of course, also, a big storm, lots of coastal flooding. Those are the kinds of things that are impacting the Arctic more and more.”

Topics in the Arctic Report Card include the seabird die-offs, which Thoman says have become an annual occurrence in the Bering Sea, as well as snow cover, sea ice and the tundra.

To hear the the full interview with Rick Thoman, click here and check out the Alaska’s News Source podcast “In Depth Alaska.”