2008/2009 Arctic Report Card now live: Arctic Climate System Responds to Warming

We just released the 2008/2009 Arctic Report Card today. We had a press conference telecon. It gives me pause to consider it’s findings, that, there is a consistent pattern of dramatic change driven by warming.

One thing that really stands out is the fact that Arctic sea ice volume continues to diminish. You can read more about that at NSDIC. See below…

The other thing that stands out for me is how Greenland’s glaciers are losing ice at marine-terminating outlets, essentially loosing corks from ice bottling up the inland ice sheet.

Marine-terminating glacier area changes

Daily surveys of Greenland ice sheet marine terminating outlet glaciers from cloud-free MODIS imagery (http://bprc.osu.edu/MODIS/) indicate that the 34 widest glaciers collectively lost 106.4 km2 of marine-terminating ice between the end of summer 2008 and the end of summer 2009 (Figure G4). This is equivalent to an area 20% larger than Manhattan Island (87.5 km2), New York. The largest individual glacier losses are observed at: Humboldt (-37 km2); Zachariae Isstrom (-31 km2); and Midgard (-16 km2). The 2000-2009 rate (106 km2) has been linear (R = −0.98) despite the fact that a few individual glaciers exhibit erratic annual net ice area changes. The cumulative area change from end-of-summer 2000 to 2009 is −990 km2, an area 11.3 times that of Manhattan Island.

Cumulative annual area changes for 34 of the widest Greenland ice sheet marine-terminating outlets
Figure G4. Cumulative annual area changes for 34 of the widest Greenland ice sheet marine-terminating outlets.

Here’s the full Greenland section I led.