Arctic Report: primary productivity still high & sea ice flatline continues despite warmer temperatures

by Polar Bear Science, Dec 14, 2022

NOAAs annual Arctic Report Card is, for the most part, a valiant effort to turn good and ambiguous news into harbingers of climate change disaster. Primary productivity is up across most of the region (good news for wildlife) and despite Arctic temperatures being “twice as high” as the rest of the world in recent years, the summer sea ice ‘death spiral’ has failed to materialize.

Oddly, there is no bad news about polar bears (last mention was 2014). However, the media were told that the few hundred sea birds that died this year in the enormous Bering/Chukchi Sea region over the four months of summer in 2022 is a portend of climate change catastrophe–even though the authors of the NOAA report admit they have no conclusive evidence to explain the phenomenon. However, here are also some honest figures that are quite illuminating.

Sea ice

The graph at the bottom of this graphic, spread out rather than bunched up to make changes seem more dramatic, makes it much easier to see the lack of a declining trend in sea ice extent since 2007, and that winter (March) coverage has changed hardly at all.