New NOAA Web Site Emphasizes Broader Impacts of Sea Ice Loss

More than local problem, Arctic’s future affects weather, climate elsewhere

March 16, 2010

Melting sea ice may sound like a regional or local problem, but NOAA’s new Arctic Future Web site shows that changes in the Arctic can also influence weather in the mid-latitudes, where a large part of the global human population lives. These research efforts are part of the climate services that NOAA provides to businesses, communities and governments so they may make informed decisions to safeguard their social and economic well-being.

Aimed at everyone from students to researchers, the site brings together easy-to-understand cause-and-effect-graphics with links to the scientific literature that backs up the statements. It can be accessed at: http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/future.

Among the site’s features:

“Pulling this information together on one Web site is a way to highlight the continuing loss of Arctic sea ice in summer and its broader implications for climate,” said James Overland, a NOAA oceanographer at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory whose work appears on the new site. “For example, climate models show that changes in the Arctic can impact weather in the mid-latitudes including the United States, Europe and Asia.”

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.