Dead seals, marked with bald patches, washing onto shores or floating in rivers. A 900-mile-long bloom of algae stretching off the coast of Greenland, potentially suffocating wildlife. A giant, underground storehouse of carbon trapped in permafrost is leaking millions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, heralding a feedback loop that will accelerate climate change in unpredictable ways.

These are all bleak highlights from the 2019 Arctic Report Card, unveiled on Tuesday at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. Published annually by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the 14th iteration of this peer-reviewed report examines the status of the planet’s northern expanse and changes due to global warming, with potential consequences reaching around the globe.

In addition to scientific essays, this year’s report card for the first time delivers firsthand accounts from indigenous communities confronting the Arctic’s dramatic, climate-caused transformation. More than 70 such communities depend on Arctic ecosystems, which are warming twice as fast as any other location on the planet.

Continue reading:  2019 Arctic Report Card warns of California-sized algal blooms and imperiled livelihoods

11 thoughts on “2019 Arctic Report Card warns of California-sized algal blooms and imperiled livelihoods

    • Indeed. Recent studies have also observed the collapse of Antarctic ice shelves which hold back the massive continental ice sheets from flowing into the ocean. Such glacial melting could elevate sea levels by tens of meters or more. In my sci-fi novel, which I originally wrote in 1997, I projected that occurrence around mid-century. I wonder if it could happen that soon.

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