Communicating Changes in the Arctic Environment
Nancy N. Soreide1, James E. Overland2, Jacqueline A. Richter-Menge3, Hajo Eicken4, Helen V. Wiggins5, John Calder6
1NOAA, PMEL, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA, USA, Phone 206-527-6728, Fax 206-526-4576, nancy [dot] n [dot] soreide [at] noaa [dot] gov
2Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, USA
3Cold Regions Research and Engineering, USA
4University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA
5Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S., USA
6Arctic Research Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA
This paper provides two examples of communicating relevant and timely information about changes in the Arctic to decision makers, educators, students, scientists, and the public.
The international SEARCH Arctic Sea Ice Outlook provides a community-wide discussion and summary of the expected September minimum of arctic sea ice (http://www.arcus.org/search/seaiceoutlook). Reports are released monthly throughout the summer. Although not formal predictions for arctic sea ice extent, the reports represent a synthesis of community-wide estimates and, more importantly, the scientific rationale for the range of estimates of the expected minimum of sea ice. The arctic summer sea ice extent minimum in September 2009 was greater than that observed in 2007 or 2008, but still much less than the 1979ndash;2000 mean value. All Outlook projected values for September 2009 were less than the observed value, but most were within the range of uncertainty. While there was more sea ice in September 2009 than in 2007, the fall freezeup into November for 2009 matches that of 2007.
The Arctic Report Card is a concise, scientifically credible and accessible source of information on recent changes in the Arctic (http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/). Prepared by an international team of scientists for the Arctic Council and the broader community under the direction of AMAP and updated annually, the peer-reviewed website brings together cutting edge information on changes in arctic systems. For 2009, multi-year sea ice is being replaced by first year ice. There is increased runoff in Siberia, less snow in North America and higher latitude species are impacted by loss of sea ice.
Both products have a wide distribution and are scheduled to continue in the future with continued accuracy and improved clarity as the goals.