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About the 2014 Report Card

November 29, 2014

The Arctic Report Card (hereafter the Report Card) has been issued annually since 2006. It is a timely and peer-reviewed source for clear, reliable and concise environmental information on the current state of different components of the Arctic environmental system relative to historical records. The Report Card is intended for a wide audience, including scientists, teachers, students, decision-makers and the general public interested in the Arctic environment and science.

Report Card 2014 contains 10 contributions (we like to call them essays) prepared by an international team of 63 scientists from 13 different countries. As in previous years, independent peer-review of Report Card 2014 was organized by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme of the Arctic Council.

Report Card 2014 has a different look compared to those published in 2011, 2012 and 2013. This year there are three sections: Vital Signs, Indicators, and Frostbites. The Vital Signs section will include annual updates on the same seven topics: Air Temperature; Terrestrial Snow Cover; Greenland Ice Sheet; Sea Ice; Sea Surface Temperature; Ocean Primary Productivity; and Tundra Greenness. The Indicators section will be for topics (Ozone, UV Radiation, Permafrost, Glaciers and Ice Caps, to name a few) that have appeared in previous Report Cards but which will now be updated every 2-4 years.

The Frostbites section is an entirely new feature for reports on new and newsworthy items, describe emerging issues, and address topics that relate to long-term scientific observations in the Arctic. For instance, this year, one of the Frostbites contributions addresses the challenging issue of choosing a long-term reference period for calculating anomalies in a rapidly changing Arctic.

Also new to Report Card 2014, and for subsequent Report Cards, is an Editorial Advisory Board: Mike Gill, Canadian High Arctic Research Station of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada; Kit Kovacs, Norsk Polar Institut/Norwegian Polar Institute; Marco Tedesco, City College of New York & the National Science Foundation; and Mary-Louise Timmermans, Yale University. The board advises the editors on the choice of topics for the Indicators and Frostbites sections, and participates in the internal review of the Report Card prior to the independent peer review.

People occasionally ask questions such as "How are essay topics selected?" or "Why is topic X not in the Arctic Report Card?" The short answer is that each Report Card strives to include some new topics as well as recurrent topics, and thus cover many topics over a period of years. In this way the Report Card can achieve a comprehensiveness over time that is not possible given the severe time constraints in its production. A complete list of topics covered since the first publication of the Report Card in 2007 is available at Previous Report Cards.

The editorial team is:

Martin Jeffries, Office of Naval Research, Arlington, VA
James Overland, NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle, WA
Jackie Richter-Menge, US Army Corps of Engineers, Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Hanover, NH

Click to see essay Authors and Affiliations and a full list of References.

How to Cite the 2014 Arctic Report Card

Citing the complete report:
M. O. Jeffries, J. Richter-Menge, and J. E. Overland, Eds., 2014: Arctic Report Card 2014,

Citing an essay (example):
Derksen, C. and R. Brown, 2014: Snow [in Arctic Report Card 2014],

Media Contact Information

Monica Allen
Director of NOAA Communications & External Affairs
NOAA Office of Oceanic & Atmospheric Research


Financial support for the Arctic Report Card is provided by the Arctic Research Program in the NOAA Climate Program Office, and in-kind support is provided by the Office of Naval Research. The editors thank the members of the first ever Arctic Report Card Editorial Advisory Board for their help with the 2014 update, and AMAP for organizing the independent peer review. Acknowledgments for individual essays are consolidated here.

Banner Photograph

The banner photograph "Polar bear with curious cub on first year ice floes" was taken in the Beaufort Sea, AK by Kelley Elliott, NOAA/OAR/OER. It comes from the NOAA Photo Library via Flickr. Credit: The Hidden Ocean, Arctic 2005 Exploration, NOAA/OAR/OER.