Event Type
Webinars and Virtual Events
Event Dates
Seattle, Washington and online: 9:00-10:00 am AKST, 10:00-11:00 am PST, 1:00-2:00 pm EST

James Overland, Oceanographer, NOAA Research Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and Muyin Wang, Meteorologist, University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Oceans.

A new Arctic surprise (unexpected magnitude of rapid change) was extensive record warm Arctic temperature extremes in January through April 2016, which repeated in fall-early winter 2016-17. In January, the Arctic-wide average temperature was 2.0 degrees C above the previous positive record of 3.0 degrees C above normal, with local January values in excess of 7 degrees C above normal. Record sea ice extent losses were observed for all months of 2016 except during the summer. Sea ice multi-year (MY) fraction (amount of old thick ice) had a sharp drop between January 2016 and January 2017, and was 60% below the MY fraction during the early 2000s. Delayed sea ice freeze up in fall 2016 helped to maintain the warm temperatures, a clear example of Arctic specific feedback processes that amplified the rate of change. An open question is whether there will be continuing near future rapid Arctic changes from such surprises.

This event, sponsored by NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, will be held at the NOAA Western Regional Center, Building 3, Room 2104 (Oceanographer Room), 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115.

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