Arctic Report Card

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The map shows the difference between the amount of sunlight Greenland reflected in the summer of 2011 versus the average percent it reflected between 2000 and 2006. Virtually the entire ice sheet shows some change, with some areas reflecting close to 20 percent less light than a decade ago. The map is based on observations from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Arctic Report Card[1] presents annually updated, peer-reviewed information on recent observations of environmental conditions in the Arctic relative to historical records. NOAA has officially designated the Arctic Report Card as Influential Scientific Information.[2] The annual updates are released during a press conference at the December American Geophysical Society meeting.

The audience for the Arctic Report Card is wide, including scientists, students, teachers, decision makers and the general public interested in Arctic environment and science.


The Arctic Report Card reflects the combined efforts of 72 authors from 11 different countries. The 12 essays were subject to independent peer-review organized by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) of the Arctic Council.

The 2015 Report Card essays are organized into 3 sections: Vital Signs; Indicators; and Frostbites. Key highlights are featured on the Home Page, which includes a YouTube video that summarizes the Report Card.

In 2015, Arctic sea extent at the end of the winter was the lowest during the satellite record and the winter maximum occurred 15 days earlier than in the past. The sea ice minimum at the end of summer was the 4th lowest extent on record. These changes are having profound impacts in both the marine and terrestrial ecosystems and in sea surface temperatures.


  1. ^ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s annually issued Arctic Report Card.
  2. ^ U.S. Government peer review policies

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