Selecting Indicators for Understanding Arctic Change and Its Implications

Authors: Florence Fetterer*, National Snow and Ice Data Center, CIRES, University of Colorado, Diane M. Stanitski, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Global Monitoring Division, Matthew Druckenmiller, National Snow and Ice Data Center, CIRES, University of Colorado, Boulder, Janet M. Intrieri, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Physical Sciences Division, Walter N. Meier, National Snow and Ice Data Center, CIRES, University of Colorado
Topics: Cryosphere, Polar Regions, Hazards and Vulnerability
Keywords: Arctic,climate,indicators,Alaska,NOAA,USGCRP
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: Download


The Arctic is warming about two times faster than the rest of the planet. The Gulf Coast saw record-breaking cold as the jet stream reached south in January 2018, while on 14 January the maximum temperature in Ketchikan reached 67 deg F, the highest January daily temperature ever recorded in Alaska. January 2016 and January 2017 were almost 15 deg and 2 deg F higher, respectively, than average across Alaska. Alaskans are seeing the impacts of this rapid warming now. National security and maritime safety sectors, fisheries and tourism industries, as well as state and community leaders, depend on access to indicators of change in order to plan for warming and the associated physical, ecological, social, and economic impacts. Indicators, usually consisting of time series of physical or biological data like sea ice extent or bird population numbers, track change that can be reported in assessments and used in agency planning as well as for scientific research. Using decision criteria closely aligned with those used for the U.S. National Climate Indicators System, we identified 11 priority indicators of Arctic change and an additional two assessment projects that we promote for full development and support. Indicators, along with collaboration spaces like that of the U.S. Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee, make it easier for different disciplines, groups, and interests to access multiple sources of evidence, to collaborate, and to contribute to sound public policy.

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