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Arctic Report Card: Update for 2021

Rapid and pronounced warming continues to drive the evolution of the Arctic environment

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Arctic Report Card 2021

Vital Signs

Other Indicators


More Information

Arctic Essays

About Arctic Report Card 2021

The Arctic Report Card (hereafter 'ARC') 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 ARC is intended for a wide audience interested in the Arctic environment and science, including scientists, teachers, students, decision-makers, policymakers, and the general public.

ARC 2021 contains 14 essay contributions prepared by an international team of 111 authors from 12 different countries. As in previous years, independent peer review of ARC 2021 was organized by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) of the Arctic Council. ARC is classified as a NOAA Technical Report and is archived within the NOAA Library Institutional Repository.

ARC 2021 is organized into three sections: Vital Signs, Other Indicators, and Frostbites. The Vital Signs section is for annual updates on seven recurring topics: Surface Air Temperature; Terrestrial Snow Cover; Greenland Ice Sheet; Sea Ice; Sea Surface Temperature; Arctic Ocean Primary Productivity; and Tundra Greenness. The Other Indicators section is for topics that are updated every 2-4 years, many of which have appeared in previous ARCs. The Frostbites section is for reports on new and newsworthy items, describing emerging issues, and addressing topics that relate to long-term observations in the Arctic. 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 ARC strives to include some recurrent topics as well as new topics, and thus covers many subjects over a period of years. In this way the ARC achieves a comprehensiveness over time that is not possible in any given year. A complete list of topics covered since the first publication of the ARC is available at the Report Card Archive. Click on these hyperlinks for a list of all ARC 2021 authors and their affiliations, and a list of references from all 14 essays. If you'd like to submit a topic for consideration for future reports, please submit your idea via the Google form here.


Financial support for Arctic Report Card 2021 was provided by NOAA's Global Ocean Monitoring & Observing Arctic Research Program, including content editing funded through the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) via NOAA Cooperative Agreement #NA17OAR4320101 (M. L. Druckenmiller and T. A. Moon) and by the Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean, and Ecosystem Studies (CICOES) under NOAA Cooperative Agreement NA20OAR4320271, Contribution No.2021-1167 (R. L. Thoman). The editors thank AMAP for organizing the independent peer review and those who provided review comments. The editors would like to acknowledge Ben DeAngelo, Deputy Director of NOAA's Climate Program Office and Chair of AMAP, for his guidance and oversight as NOAA Federal Advisor for the Arctic Report Card. The editors also recognize the tremendous contribution of Kelley Uhlig, Program Specialist II with NOAA's Arctic Research Program, who coordinated and managed the various elements of the ARC's production process.

How to cite Arctic Report Card 2021

Citing the complete report or Executive Summary:
Moon, T. A., M. L. Druckenmiller, and R. L. Thoman, Eds., 2021: Arctic Report Card 2021,

Citing an essay (example):
Mudryk, L., A. Elias Chereque, C. Derksen, K. Luojus, and B. Decharme, 2021: Terrestrial snow cover. Arctic Report Card 2021, T. A. Moon, M. L. Druckenmiller, and R. L. Thoman, Eds.,

(Note: Each essay has a unique DOI assigned to it)

Media Contact Information

Theo Stein
NOAA Communications
(303) 819-7409

Banner Photograph

Beaver dam, pond, and lodge in the Alaska tundra (credit: Ken Tape)

Mention of a commercial company or product does not constitute an endorsement by NOAA/OAR. Use of information from this publication concerning proprietary products or the tests of such products for publicity or advertising purposes is not authorized. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

December 14, 2021



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Issued annually since 2006, the Arctic Report Card 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.

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