Skip to main content

Observational Evidence of Recent Change in the Northern High-Latitude Environment

Abstract

Studies from a variety of disciplines documentrecentchange in the northern high-latitude environment.Prompted by predictions of an amplified response oftheArctic to enhanced greenhouse forcing, we present asynthesis of these observations. Pronounced winter andspring warming over northern continents since about 1970ispartly compensated by cooling over the northern NorthAtlantic. Warming is also evident over the centralArcticOcean. There is a downward tendency in sea ice extent,attended by warming and increased areal extent of theArctic Ocean's Atlantic layer. Negative snow coveranomalies have dominated over both continents sincethelate 1980s and terrestrial precipitation has increasedsince 1900. Small Arctic glaciers have exhibitedgenerally negative mass balances. While permafrost haswarmed in Alaska and Russia, it has cooled in easternCanada. There is evidence of increased plant growth,attended by greater shrub abundance and northwardmigration of the tree line. Evidence also suggeststhatthe tundra has changed from a net sink to a net sourceofatmospheric carbon dioxide.Taken together, these results paint a reasonablycoherent picture of change, but their interpretationassignals of enhanced greenhouse warming is open todebate.Many of the environmental records are either short,areof uncertain quality, or provide limited spatialcoverage. The recent high-latitude warming is also nolarger than the interdecadal temperature range duringthis century. Nevertheless, the general patterns ofchange broadly agree with model predictions. Roughlyhalfof the pronounced recent rise in Northern Hemispherewinter temperatures reflects shifts in atmosphericcirculation. However, such changes are notinconsistentwith anthropogenic forcing and include generallypositive phases of the North Atlantic and ArcticOscillations and extratropical responses to theEl-NiñoSouthern Oscillation. An anthropogenic effect is alsosuggested from interpretation of the paleoclimaterecord,which indicates that the 20th century Arctic is thewarmest of the past 400 years.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Aagaard, K. and Carmack, E. C.: 1989, ‘The Role of Sea Ice and Other Fresh Waters in the Arctic Circulation’, J. Geophys. Res. 94 (C10), 14,845-14,498.

    Google Scholar 

  • Abdalati, W. and Steffen, K.: 1997, ‘Snowmelt on the Greenland Ice Sheet as Derived from Passive Microwave Data’, J. Climate 10, 165-175.

    Google Scholar 

  • Anderson, L. G., Bjork, B., Holby, O., Jones, E. P., Kattner, G., Koltermann, K. P., Liljeblad, B., Lindegren, R., Rudels, B., and Swift, J. H.: 1994, ‘Water Masses and Circulation in the Eurasian Basins: Results from the Oden 91 Expedition’, J. Geophys. Res. 99 (C2), 3273-3283.

    Google Scholar 

  • Angell, K. and Korshover, J.: 1974, ‘Quasi-Biennial and Long-Term Fluctuations in Centers of Action’, Mon. Wea. Rev. 102, 669-678.

    Google Scholar 

  • Barry, R. G: 1995, ‘Observing Systems and Data Sets Related to the Cryosphere in Canada: A Contribution to Planning for the Global Climate Observing System, Atmos.-Ocean 33, 771-807.

    Google Scholar 

  • Barry, R. G. and Perry, A. H.: 1973, Synoptic Climatology. Methods and Applications, Methuen, London, pp. 161-165.

    Google Scholar 

  • Basist, A. N. and Chelliah, M.: 1997, ‘Comparison of Tropospheric Temperatures Derived from the NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis, NCEP Operational Analysis and the Microwave Sounding Unit’, Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. 7, 1431-1447.

    Google Scholar 

  • Billings, W. D., Luken, J. O., Martensen, D. A., and Peterson, K. M.: 1983, ‘Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide: Possible Effects on Arctic Tundra’, Oecologia 58, 286-289.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bjorgo, E., Johannessen, O. M., and Miles, M. W.: 1997, ‘Analysis of Merged SSMR-SSMI Time Series of Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice Parameters 1978-1995’, Geophys. Res. Lett. 24, 413-416.

    Google Scholar 

  • Broccoli, A. J., Lau, N.-C., and Nath, M. J.: 1998, ‘The Cold Ocean-Warm Land Pattern: Model Simulation and Relevance to Climate Change Detection’, J. Climate 11, 2743-2763.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brown, R. D. and Braaten, R. O.: 1998, ‘Spatial and Temporal Variability of Canadian Monthly Snow Depths, 1946-1995’, Atmos.-Ocean 36, 37-54.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brown, R. D. and Goodison, B. E.: 1996, ‘Interannual Variability in Reconstructed Canadian Snow Cover, 1915-1992’, J. Climate 9, 1299-1318.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brubaker, L. B., Anderson, P. M., and Hu, F. S.: 1995, ‘Arctic Tundra Biodiversity: A Temporal Perspective from Late Quaternary Pollen Records’, in Chapin, F. S. III and Kšrner, C. (eds.), Arctic and Alpine Biodiversity: Patterns, Causes and Ecosystem Consequences, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp. 111-125.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bryson, R. A.: 1966, ‘Air Masses, Stream Lines, and the Boreal Forest’, Geogr. Bull. 8, 228-269.

    Google Scholar 

  • Carmack, E. C., Aagaard, K, Swift, J. H., Macdonald, R. W., McLaughlin, F. A., Jones, E. P., Perkin, R. G., Smith, J. N., Ellis, K., and Kilius, L.: 1998, ‘Changes in Temperature and Contaminant Distributions within the Arctic Ocean’, Deep Sea Res. Par II 44, 1487-1502.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cavalieri, D. J, Gloersen, P, Parkinson, C. L., Comiso, J. C., and Zwally, H. J.: 1997, ‘Observed Hemispheric Asymmetry in Global Sea Ice Changes’, Science 278, 1104-1106.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chapin, F. S. III, Miller, P. C., Billings, W. D., and Coyne, P. I.: 1980, ‘Carbon and Nutrient Budgets and their Control in Coastal Tundra’, in Brown, J., Miller, P. C., Tieszen, L. L., and Bunnell, F. L. (eds.), An Arctic Ecosystem, the Coastal Tundra at Barrow, Alaska, Dowden, Hutchinson and Ross, Stroudsberg, PA, pp. 458-482.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chapin, F. S. III, Shaver, G. R., Giblin, A. E., Nadelhoffer, K. G., and Laundre, J. A.: 1995, ‘Response of Arctic Tundra to Experimental and Observed Changes in Climate’, Ecology 76, 694-711.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chapman, W. L. and Walsh, J. E.: 1993, ‘Recent Variations of Sea Ice and Air Temperature in High Latitudes’, Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc. 74, 33-47.

    Google Scholar 

  • Colony, R. L. and Rigor, I. G.: 1993, ‘International Arctic Ocean Buoy Program Data Report for 1 January 1992-31 December 1992’, Tech. Mem. APL-UWTM 29-93, APPL, Univ. Washington, Seattle WA, p. 215.

    Google Scholar 

  • Colony, R. L., Radionov, V., and Tanis, F. L.: 1997, ‘Measurements of Precipitation and Snow at the Russian North Pole Drifting Stations’, Polar Geogr. 34, 3-14.

    Google Scholar 

  • Coyne, P. I. and Kelley, J. J.: 1975, ‘CO2 Exchange over the Alaskan Tundra: Meteorological Assessment by an Aerodynamic Method’, J. Appl. Ecol. 12, 587-610.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cullather, R. I., Bromwich, D. H., and Serreze, M. C.: 2000, ‘The Atmospheric Hydrologic Cycle over the Arctic Basin from Reanalyses Part I. Comparison with Observations and Previous Studies’, J. Climate, in press.

  • Dai, A., Fung, I. Y., and Del Genio, A. D.: 1997, ‘Surface Observed Global Land Precipitation Variations during 1900-1988’, J. Climate 10, 2943-2962.

    Google Scholar 

  • D'Arrigo, R., Jacoby, G. C., and Fung, I. Y.: 1987, ‘Boreal Forests and Atmosphere-Biosphere Exchange of Carbon Dioxide’, Nature 329, 321-323.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dickson, R. R., Osborn, T. J., Hurrell, J. W., Meincke, J., Blindheim, J., Adlandsvik, B., Vinje, T., Alekseev, G., Maslowski, W., and Cattle, H.: 2000, ‘The Arctic Ocean Response to the North Atlantic Oscillation’, J. Climate, in press.

  • Dmitriev, A. A.: 1994, Iznerchivost Atmosfernykh Protsessy Arktiki i ee Ychet v Dolgosrochnykh Prognozakh (Variability of Atmospheric Processes in the Arctic and their Calculation for Long-Range Prediction), Gidrometeoizdat, St. Petersburg, p. 207.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dowdeswell, J. A., Hagen, J. O., Bjornsson, H., Glazovsky, A. F., Harrison, W. D., Holmlund, P., Jania, J., Koerner, R. M., Lefauconnier, B., Ommanney, C. S. L., and Thomas, R. H.: 1997, ‘The Mass Balance of Circum-Arctic Glaciers and Recent Climate Change’, Quatern. Res. 48, 1-14.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dyurgerov, M. B. and Meier, M. F.: 1997, ‘Year-to-Year Fluctuation of Global Mass Balance of Small Glaciers and their Contribution to Sea Level Changes’, Arc. Alp. Res. 29, 392-402.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dzerdzeevskii, B. L.: 1963, ‘Fluctuations of General Circulation of the Atmosphere and Climate in the Twentieth Century’, in Changes of Climate, Arid Zone Res. No. 20, UNESCO, Paris, pp. 285-295.

    Google Scholar 

  • Eischeid, J. K., Baker, C. B., Karl, T. R., and Diaz, H. F.: 1995, ‘The Quality Control of Long-Term Climatological Data Using Objective Data Analysis’, J. Appl. Meteorol. 34, 2787-2795.

    Google Scholar 

  • Environmental Working Group (EWG): 1998, Joint U.S.-Russian Atlas of the Arctic Ocean, Oceanography Atlas for the Winter Period, National Ocean Data Center, CD-ROM available from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), Boulder, CO.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fallot, J.-M., Barry, R. G., and Hoogstrate, D.: 1997, ‘Variations of Mean Cold Season Temperature, Precipitation and Snow Depths during the Last 100 Years in the Former Soviet Union (FSU)’, Hydrol. Sci. J. 42, 301-327.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fung, I.: 1997, ‘A Greener North’, Nature 386, 659-660.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fyfe, J. C., Boer, G. J., and Flato, G. M.: 1999, ‘The Arctic and Antarctic Oscillations under Global Warming’, Geophys. Res. Lett. 26, 1601-1604.

    Google Scholar 

  • Girs, A. A.: 1981, ‘—K Voprosy o Formakh Atmosfernoi Tsirkulyatsii i ikh Pragnosticheskom Izpolzobanii (On the Forms of Atmospheric Circulation and their Use in Forecasting)’, Trudy Arkt. Antarkt. Inst. 373, 4-13.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gloersen, P. and Campbell, W. J.: 1991, ‘Recent Variations in Arctic and Antarctic Sea-Ice Covers’, Nature 352, 33-36.

    Google Scholar 

  • Groisman, P. Y. and Easterling, D. R.: 1994, ‘Variability and Trends of Precipitation and Snowfall over the Eastern United States and Canada’, J. Climate 7, 184-205.

    Google Scholar 

  • Groisman, P. Y., Karl, T. R., Knight, R.W., and Stenchinkov, G. L.: 1994a, ‘Changes of Snow Cover, Temperature and Radiative Heat Balance over the Northern Hemisphere’, J. Climate 7, 1633-1656.

    Google Scholar 

  • Groisman, P. Y., Karl, T. R., and Knight, T. W.: 1994b, ‘Observed Impact of Snow Cover on the Heat Balance and the Rise of Continental Spring Temperatures’, Science 263, 198-200.

    Google Scholar 

  • Groisman, P. Y., Koknaeva, V. V., Belokrylova, T. A., and Karl, T. R.: 1991, ‘Overcoming Biases of Precipitation: A History of the U.S.S.R. Experience’, Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc. 72, 1725-1733.

    Google Scholar 

  • Grotefendt, K., Logemann, K., Quadfasel, D., and Ronski, S.: 1998, ‘Is the Arctic Ocean Warming?’, J. Geophys. Res. 103 (C12), 27,679-27,687.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hurrell, J. W.: 1995, ‘Decadal Trends in the North Atlantic Oscillation: Regional Temperatures and Precipitation’, Science 269, 676-679.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hurrell, J. W.: 1996, ‘Influence of Variations in Extratropical Wintertime Teleconnections on Northern Hemisphere Temperature’, Geophys. Res. Lett. 23, 665-668.

    Google Scholar 

  • Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC): 1992, in Houghton, J. T., Callander, B. A., and Varney, S. K. (eds.), Climate Change 1992: The Supplementary Report to the IPCC Scientific Assessment, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K., p. 200.

    Google Scholar 

  • Johannessen, O. M., Miles, M., and Bjorgo, E.: 1995, ‘The Arctics Shrinking Sea Ice’, Nature 376, 126-127.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jones, P. D.: 1994, ‘Hemispheric Surface Air Temperature Variations: A Reanalysis and an Update to 1993’, J. Climate 7, 1794-1802.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jones, P. D. and Briffa, K. R.: 1995, ‘Growing Season Temperatures over the Former Soviet Union’, Int. J. Climatol. 15, 943-959.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kahl, J. D., Charlevoix, D. J., Zaitseva, N. A., Schnell, R. C., and Serreze, M. C.: 1993, ‘Absence of Evidence for Greenhouse Warming over the Arctic Ocean in the Past 40 Years’, Nature 361, 335-337.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kalnay, E., Kanamitsu, M., Kistler, R., Collins, W., Deaven, D., Gandin, L., Iredell, M., Saha, S., White, G., Woolen, J., Zhu, Y., Chelliah, M., Ebisuzaki, W., Higgens, W., Janowiak, J., Mo, K. C., Ropelewski, C., Wang, J., Leetma, A., Reynolds, R., Jenne, R., and Joseph, D.: 1996, ‘The NCEP/NCAR 40-Year Reanalysis Project’, Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc. 77, 437-471.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kattenberg, A., Giorgi, F., Grassl, H., Meehl, G. A., Mitchell, J. F. B., Stouffer, R. J., Tokioka, T., Weaver, A. J., and Wigley, T. M. L.: 1996, ‘Climate Models-Projections of Future Climate’, in Houghton, J. T., Meira Filho, L. G., Callander, B. A., Harris, N., Kattenberg, A., and Maskell, K. (eds.), Climate Change 1995, The Science of Climate Change, Contribution of Working Group I to the Second Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Ch. 6), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K., pp. 289-357.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kazantsev, V. V.: 1994, ‘Is the Thermal Regime of Permafrost Determined by Solar Rhythms?’, Cold Regions Sci. Technol. 23, 93-98.

    Google Scholar 

  • Keeling, C. D., Chin, J. F. S., and Whorf, T. P.: 1996, ‘Increased Activity on Northern Vegetation Inferred from Atmospheric CO2 Measurements’, Nature 382, 146-149.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kling, G. W., Khiyshut, G. W., and Miller, M. C.: 1991, ‘Arctic Lakes and Streams as Gas Conduits to the Atmosphere: Implications for Tundra Carbon Budgets’, Science 251, 298-301.

    Google Scholar 

  • Koch, L.: 1945, ‘The East Greenland Ice’, Medd. Groenl. 130, 1-374.

    Google Scholar 

  • Krebs, S. J. and Barry, R. G.: 1970, ‘The Arctic Front and the Tundra-Taiga Boundary in Eurasia’, Geog. Rev. 60, 548-554.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lachenbruch, A. H.: 1994, ‘Permafrost, the Active Layer, and Changing Climate’, United States Geological Survey, Open-File Report 94-694, p. 43.

  • Lachenbruch, A. H. and Marshall, B. V.: 1986, ‘Changing Climate: Geothermal Evidence from Permafrost in the Alaskan Arctic’, Science 234, 689-696.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lachenbruch, A. H., Sass, J. H., Marshall, B. V., and Moses, T. H.: 1982, ‘Permafrost, Heat Flow, and the Geothermal Regime at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska’, J. Geophys. Res. 87 (B11), 9301-9316.

    Google Scholar 

  • Landhausser, S. M. and Wein, R. W.: 1993, ‘Postfire Vegetation Recovery and Tree Establishment at the Arctic Treeline: Climate-Change Vegetation-Regeneration Hypotheses’, J. Ecol. 81, 665-672.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lean, J., Beer, J., and Bradley, R.: 1995, ‘Reconstruction of Solar Irradiance Since 1610: Implications for Climate Change’, Geophys. Res. Lett. 22, 3195-3198.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mächel, H., Kapala, A., and Flohn, H.: 1998, ‘Behaviour of the Centres of Action Above the Atlantic Since 1881. Part I: Characteristics of Seasonal and Interannual Variability’, Int. J. Climatol. 18, 1-22.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mackay, J. R.: 1995, ‘Active Layer Changes (1968-1993) Following the Forest-Tundra Fire near Inuvik, N.W.T., Canada’, Arc. Alp. Res. 27, 323-336.

    Google Scholar 

  • Manabe, S., Spelman, M. J., and Stouffer, R. J.: 1992, ‘Transient Response of a Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Model to Gradual Changes of Atmospheric CO2. Part II: Seasonal Response’, J. Climate 5, 105-126.

    Google Scholar 

  • Marion, G. M. and Oechel, W. C.: 1993, ‘Mid-to-Late-Holocene Carbon Balance in Arctic Alaska and its Implications for Future Global Warming’, Holocene 3, 193-200.

    Google Scholar 

  • Martin, S., Munoz, E., and Dreucker, R.: 1997, ‘Recent Observations of a Spring-Summer Warming over the Arctic Ocean’, Geophys. Res. Lett. 24, 1259-1262.

    Google Scholar 

  • Martin, S. E. and Munoz, E.: 1997, ‘Properties of the Arctic 2-m Air Temperature for 1979-Present Derived from a New Gridded Data Set’, J. Climate 10, 1428-1440.

    Google Scholar 

  • Maslanik, J. A., Serreze, M. C., and Agnew, T.: 1999, ‘On the Record Reduction in Western Arctic Sea Ice Cover in 1998’, Geophys. Res. Lett. 26, 1905-1908.

    Google Scholar 

  • Maslanik, J. A., Serreze, M. C., and Barry, R. G.: 1996, ‘Recent Decreases in Arctic Summer Ice Cover and Linkages to Atmospheric Circulation Anomalies’, Geophys. Res. Lett. 23, 1677-1680.

    Google Scholar 

  • McLaughlin, F. A., Carmack, E. C., McDonald, R. W., and Bishop, J. K. B.: 1996, ‘Physical and Geochemical Properties Across the Atlantic/Pacific Water Mass Front in the Southern Canada Basin’, J. Geophys. Res. 101 (C1), 1183-1195.

    Google Scholar 

  • Meehl, G. A. and Washington, W. M.: 1990, ‘CO2 Climate Sensitivity and Snow-Sea-Ice Parameterization in an Atmospheric GCM Coupled to a Mixed-Layer Ocean Model’, Clim. Change 16, 283-306.

    Google Scholar 

  • Meehl, G. A., Boer, G. J., Covey, C., Latif, M., and Stouffer, R. J.: 1997, ‘Intercomparison Makes for a Better Climate Model, EOS 78, 445-451.

    Google Scholar 

  • Meier, M. F.: 1984, ‘Contribution of Small Glaciers to Global Sea Level’, Science 226, 1418-1421.

    Google Scholar 

  • Meshcherskaya, A. V., Belyankina, I. G., and Golod, M. P.: 1995, ‘Monitoring Tolshching Cnozhnogo Pokprova v Osnovioi Zerno Proizvodyashchei Zone Byvshego SSSR za Period Instrumentalnykh Nablyugenii’, Izvestiya Akad. Nauk SSR., Sser. Geograf., 101-110.

  • Mikhalevesky, P. N., Gavrilov, A., Baggoroer, A. P., and Slavinsky, M.: 1995, ‘Experiment Tests Use of Acoustics to Monitor Temperature and Ice in the Arctic Ocean’, Eos, Trans. AGU 76, 27.

    Google Scholar 

  • Miller, P. C., Kendall, R., and Oechel, W. C.: 1983, ‘Simulating Carbon Accumulation in Northern Ecosystems’, Simulation 40, 119-131.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morison, J. H., Steele, M., and Andersen, R.: 1998, ‘Hydrography in Upper Arctic Ocean Measured from the Nuclear Submarine U.S.S. Pargo’, Deep Sea Res. Part 1 45, 15-38.

    Google Scholar 

  • Myneni, R. B., Keeling, C. D., Tucker, C. J., Asrar, G., and Nemani, R. R.: 1997, ‘Increased Plant Growth in the Northern High Latitudes from 1981 to 1991’, Nature 386, 698-702.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nakamura, N. and Oort, A. H.: 1988, ‘Atmospheric Heat Budgets of the Polar Regions’, J. Geophys. Res. 93 (D8), 9510-9524.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nelson, F. E., Lachenbruch, A. H., Woo, M. K., Koster, E. A., Osterkamp, T. E., Gavrilova, M. K., and Cheng, G. D.: 1993, ‘Permafrost and Climate Change’, in Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Permafrost, Vol. 2, South China University of Technology Press, pp. 987-1005.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nicholls, N., Gruza, G. V., Jouzel, J., Karl, T. R., Ogallo, L. A., and Parker, D. E.: 1996, ‘Observed Climate Variability and Change’, in Houghton, J. T., Meira Filho, L. G., Callander, B. A., Harris, N., Kattenberg, A., and Maskell, K. (eds.), Climate Change 1995, The Science of Climate Change, Contribution of Working Group I to the Second Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Ch. 3), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K., pp. 137-192.

    Google Scholar 

  • Oechel, W. C. and Billings, W. D.: 1992, ‘Anticipated Effects of Global Change on Carbon Balance of Arctic Plants and Ecosystems’, in Chapin, F. S. III, Jefferies, R., Shaver, G., Reynolds, J., and Svoboda, J. (eds.), Physiological Ecology of Arctic Plants: Implications for Climate Change, Academy Press, New York, NY, pp. 139-168.

    Google Scholar 

  • Oechel, W. C. and Vourlitis, G. L.: 1994, ‘The Effects of Climate Change on Arctic Tundra Ecosystems’, Trends Ecol. Evol. 9, 324-329.

    Google Scholar 

  • Oechel, W. C. and Vourlitis, G. L.: 1996, ‘Climate Change in Northern Latitudes: Alterations in Ecosystem Structure and Function and Effects on Carbon Sequestration’, in Oechel, W. C., Callaghan, T., Gilmanov, T., Holten, J. I., Maxwell, B., Molau, U., and Sveinbjornsson, B. (eds.), Global Change and Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystems (Ch. 20), Springer, pp. 381-401.

  • Oechel, W. C., Hastings, S. J., Vourlitis, G., Jenkins, M., Richers, G., Gruike, N.: 1993, ‘Recent Change of Arctic Tundra Ecosystems from a Net Carbon Dioxide Sink to a Source’, Nature 361, 520-523.

    Google Scholar 

  • Oechel, W. C., Vourlitis, G. L., and Hastings, S. J.: 1997, ‘Cold-Season CO2 Emission from Arctic Soils’, Global Biogeochem. Cycles 11, 163-172.

    Google Scholar 

  • Oechel, W. C., Vourlitis, G. L., Hastings, S. J., Ault, R. P. Jr., and Bryant, P.: 1998, ‘The Effects of Water Table Manipulation and Elevated Temperature on the Net CO2 Flux of Wet Sedge Tundra Ecosystems’, Global Change Biol. 4, 77-90.

    Google Scholar 

  • Oechel, W. C., Vourlitis, G. L., Hastings, S. J., and Bochkarev, S. A.: 1995, ‘Effects of Arctic CO2 Flux over Two Decades: Effects of Climate Change at Barrow, Alaska’, Ecol. Appl. 5, 846-855.

    Google Scholar 

  • Osborn, T. J., Briffa, K. R., Tett, S. F. B., Jones, P. D., and Trigo, R. M.: 1999, ‘Evolution of the North Atlantic Oscillation as Simulated by a Climate Model’, Clim. Dyn. 15, 685-702.

    Google Scholar 

  • Osterkamp, T. E.: 1995, ‘Further Evidence for Warming and Thawing of Permafrost in Alaska’, EOS, Trans. AGU 76, F244.

    Google Scholar 

  • Osterkamp, T. E. and Romanovsky, V. E.: 1996, ‘Characteristics of Changing Permafrost Temperatures in the Alaskan Arctic’, Arc. Alp. Res. 28, 267-273.

    Google Scholar 

  • Osterkamp, T. E. and Romanovsky, V. E.: 1999, ‘Evidence for Warming and Thawing of Discontinuous Permafrost in Alaska’, Permafrost Periglacial Proc. 10, 17-37.

    Google Scholar 

  • Osterkamp, T. E., Zhang, T., and Romanovsky, V. E.: 1994, ‘Evidence for a Cyclic Variation of Permafrost Temperatures in Northern Alaska’, Permafrost Periglacial Proc. 5, 137-144.

    Google Scholar 

  • Overpeck, J., Hughen, K., Hardy, D., Bradley, R., Case, R., Douglas, M., Finney, B., Gajewski, K., Jacoby, G., Jennings, A., Lamoureux, S., Lasca, A., MacDonald, G., Moore, J., Retelle, M., Smith, S., Wolfe, A., and Zielinski, G.: 1997, ‘Arctic Environmental Change of the Last Four Centuries’, Science 278, 1251-1256.

    Google Scholar 

  • Parkinson, C. L. and Cavalieri, D. J.: 1989, ‘Arctic Sea Ice 1973-1987: Seasonal, Regional and Interannual Variability’, J. Geophys. Res. 94 (C10), 14,499-14,523.

    Google Scholar 

  • Parkinson, C. L., Comiso, J., Zwally, H. J., Cavalieri, D. J., Gloersen, P., and Campbell, W. J.: 1987, ‘Arctic Sea Ice, 1973-1976: Satellite Passive Microwave Observations’, NASA Special Publication, SP-489, p. 295.

  • Pavlov, A. V.: 1994, ‘Current Changes of Climate and Permafrost in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic of Russia’, Permafrost Periglacial Proc. 5, 101-110.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pielke, R. A. and Vidale, P. L.: 1996, ‘The Boreal Forest and the Polar Front’, J. Geophys. Res. 100 (D), 25755-25758.

    Google Scholar 

  • Quadfasel, D.: 1991, ‘Warming in the Arctic’, Nature 350, 385.

    Google Scholar 

  • Reeburgh, W. S. and Whalen, S. C.: 1992, ‘High Latitude Ecosystems as CH4 Sources, Ecol. Bull. 42, 62-70.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rind, D., Martinson, D., Parkinson, C., and Healy, R.: 1996, ‘Sea Ice Forcing of Climate Change’, in Workshop on Polar Processes in Global Change, Cancun, Mexico, American Meteorological Society, pp. 4-7.

    Google Scholar 

  • Robinson, D. A., Dewey, K. F., and Heim, R. R.: 1993, ‘Global Snow Cover Monitoring: An Update’, Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc. 74, 1689-1696.

    Google Scholar 

  • Robinson, D. A., Frei, A., and Serreze, M. C.: 1995, ‘Recent Variations and Regional Relationships in Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover’, Ann. Glaciol. 21, 71-76.

    Google Scholar 

  • Robinson, D. A., Serreze, M. C., Barry, R. G., Scharfen, G., and Kukla, G.: 1992, ‘Large-Scale Patterns and Variability of Snowmelt and Parameterized Surface Albedo in the Arctic Basin’, J. Climate 5, 1109-1119.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rogers, J. C. and Mosley-Thompson, E.: 1995, ‘Atlantic Arctic Cyclones and the Mild Siberian Winters of the 1980s’, Geophys. Res. Lett. 22, 799-802.

    Google Scholar 

  • Romanovsky, V. E. and Osterkamp, T. E.: 1997, ‘Thawing of the Active Layer on the Coastal Plain of the Alaskan Arctic’, Permafrost Periglacial Proc. 8, 1-22.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rossow, W. B. and Schiffer, R. A.: 1991, ‘ISCCP Cloud Data Products’, Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc. 72, 2-20.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rudels, B.: 1989, ‘The Formation of Polar Surface Water, the Ice Export and the Exchanges through Fram Strait’, Progr. Oceanogr. 22, 205-248.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rudels, B., Jones, E. P., Anderson, L. G., and Kattner, G.: 1994, ‘On the Intermediate Depth Waters of the Arctic Ocean’, in Johannessen et al. (eds.), The Polar Oceans and their Role in Shaping the Global Environment, American Geophysical Union, 85, Washington D.C., pp. 33-46.

    Google Scholar 

  • Savina, S. S.: 1987, ‘Krupnomashtabnye Atmosfernoi Protsessy na Severnorm Polusharii i Klimaticheskie Ekstremy na Evropeisk"i Territorii S.S.R. (Large-Scale Atmospheric Processes in the Northern Hemisphere and Climatic Extremes in the European Part of the U.S.S.R.)’, Data Meteorol. Studies 13, Inst. of Geography, Academy of Sciences, Moscow, p. 180.

    Google Scholar 

  • Semiletov, I. P., Savelieva, N. I., Pipko, I. I., Pugach, S. P., and Weller, G. E.: 1999, ‘The Dispersion of Siberian River Flows into Coastal Waters: Hydrological and Hydrochemical Aspects’, in E. L. Lewis (ed.), The Freshwater Budget of the Arctic Ocean, NATO Arctic Workshop, Kluwer Academic Press, Dordrecht, in press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Serreze, M. C., Barry, R. G., and Walsh, J. E.: 1995a, ‘Atmospheric Water Vapor Characteristics at 70º N’, J. Climate 8, 719-731.

    Google Scholar 

  • Serreze, M. C., Maslanik, J. A., Key, J. R., and Kokaly, R. F.: 1995b, ‘Diagnosis of the Record Minimum in Arctic Sea Ice Area during 1990 and Associated Snow Cover Extremes’, Geophys. Res. Lett. 22, 2183-2186.

    Google Scholar 

  • Serreze, M. C., Carse, F., Barry, R. G., and Rogers, J. C.: 1997, ‘Icelandic Low Cyclone Activity: Climatological Features, Linkages with the NAO, and Relationships with Recent Changes in the Northern Hemisphere Circulation’, J. Climate 10, 453-464.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shaver, G. R., Billings, W. D., Chapin, F. S. III, Gibbin, A. E., Nadelhoffer, K. J., Oechel, W. C., and Rastetter, E. B.: 1992, ‘Global Changes and the Carbon Balance of Arctic Ecosystems’, Bio Sci. 61, 415-435.

    Google Scholar 

  • Smith, D. M.: 1998, ‘Recent Increase in the Length of the Melt Season of Perennial Arctic Sea Ice’, Geophys. Res. Lett. 25, 655-658.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sogaard, H., Friberg, T., Hansen, B. U., Nordstrom, C., and Christansen, T. R.: 2000, ‘Carbon Dioxide Exchange of a High Arctic Ecosystem Scaled from Canopy to Landscape Level Using Footprint Modelling and Remote Sensing’, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, in press.

  • Steele, M. and Boyd, T.: 1998, ‘Retreat of the Cold Halocline Layer in the Arctic Ocean’, J. Geophys. Res. 103, 10,419-10,435.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stocks, B. J.: 1991, ‘The Extent and Impact of Forest Fires in Northern Circumpolar Countries’, in Levine, J. L. (ed.), Global Biomass Burning, Atmospheric, Climatic and Biospheric Implications, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 197-202.

    Google Scholar 

  • Swift, J. H., Jones, E. P., Aagaard, K., Carmack, E. C., Hingston, M., Macdonald, R. W., Mclaughlin, F. A., and Perkins, R. G.: 1998, ‘Waters of the Makarov and Canada Basins’, Deep. Sea Res. Part II 44, 1503-1529.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thompson, D. W. J. and Wallace, J. M.: 1998, ‘The Arctic Oscillation Signature in the Wintertime Geopotential Height and Temperature Fields’, Geophys. Res. Lett. 25, 1297-1300.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thompson, D. W. J. and Wallace, J. M.: 2000, ‘Annular Modes in the Extratropical Circulation Part I. Month-to-Month Variability’, J. Climate 15, 1000-1016.

    Google Scholar 

  • Vinje, T. and Colony, R.: 1999, ‘Barents Sea Ice Edge Variations over the Past 400 Years’, World Climate Research Arctic Climate System Study (ACSYS), in Proceedings of the Workshop on Sea Ice Charts of the Arctic, Seattle, WA, 5-7 August 1998, WMO/TD No. 949, IAPO Publication No. 3, pp. 4-6.

  • Vinnikov, K. and Robock, A.: 1998, ‘The Role of Natural Variability in Observed Global and Regional Climatic Trends’, in Preprints, Ninth Symposium on Global Change, Phoenix, Arizona, American Meteorological Society, Boston, MA, pp. 211-214.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wallace, J. M., Zhang, Y., and Bajuk, L.: 1996, ‘Interpretation of Interdecadal Trends in Northern Hemisphere Surface Air Temperature’, J. Climate 9, 249-259.

    Google Scholar 

  • Walsh, J. E., Chapman, W. L., and Shy, T. L.: 1996, ‘Recent Decrease of Sea Level Pressure in the Central Arctic’, J. Climate 9, 480-486.

    Google Scholar 

  • Walsh, J. E., Kattsov, V., Portis, D., and Meleshko, V.: 1998, ‘Arctic Precipitation and Evaporation: Model Results and Observational Estimates’, J. Climate 11, 72-87.

    Google Scholar 

  • Walsh, J. E., Vinnikov, K., and Chapman, W. L.: 1999, ‘On the Use of Historical Sea Ice Charts in Assessments of Century-Scale Climate Variations’, in World Climate Research Arctic Climate System Study (ACSYS), in Proceedings of the Workshop on Sea Ice Charts of the Arctic, Seattle, WA, 5-7 August 1998, WMO/TD No. 949, IAPO Publication No. 3, pp. 1-3.

  • Walsh, J. E., Zhou, X., Portis, D., and Serreze, M. C.: 1994, ‘Atmospheric Contribution to Hydrologic Variations in the Arctic’, Atmos.-Ocean 34, 733-755.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wang, B. and Allard, M.: 1995, ‘Recent Climatic Trend and Thermal Response of Permafrost at Salluit, Northern Quebec, Canada’, Permafrost Periglacial Proc. 6, 221-234.

    Google Scholar 

  • Warren, S. G., Hahn, C. J., London, J., Chervin, R. M., and Jenne, R.: 1988, ‘Global Distribution of Cloud Cover and Cloud Type Amounts over the Ocean’, NCAR Tech. Note TN-317+STR, Boulder, CO, p. 41.

  • Warrick, R. A., Le Provost, C., Meier, M. F., Oerlemans, J., and Woodworth, P. L.: 1996, ‘Changes in Sea Level’, in Houghton, J. T., Meira Filho, L. G., Callander, B. A., Harris, N., Kattenberg, A., and Maskell, K. (eds.), Climate Change 1995, The Science of Climate Change, Contribution of Working Group I to the Second Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Ch. 7), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K., pp. 363-405.

    Google Scholar 

  • Whalen, S. C. and Reeburgh, W. S.: 1992, ‘Interannual Variations in Tundra Methane Emissions: A 4-Year Time Series at Fixed Sites’, Global Biochem. Cycles 6, 139-159.

    Google Scholar 

  • Woo, M., Heron, R., Marsh, P., and Steer, P.: 1983, ‘Comparison of Weather Station Snowfall with Winter Snow Accumulation in High Arctic Basins’, Atmos.-Ocean 21, 312-325.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zakharov, V. F.: 1997, 'sea Ice in the Climate System’, World Climate Research Programme/Arctic Climate System Study, WMO/TD-No.782, Geneva, p. 80.

  • Zhang, T. and Osterkamp, T. E.: 1993, ‘Changing Climate and Permafrost Temperatures in the Alaskan Arctic’, in Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Permafrost, Beijing, China, Vol. 1, South China University of Technology Press, pp. 783-788.

  • Zimov, S. A., Daviodov, S. P., Voropaev, Y. V., Prosiannikov, S. F., Semiletov, I. P., Chapin, M. C., and Chapin, F. S. III: 1996, ‘Siberian CO2 Efflux in Winter as a CO2 Sources and Cause of Seasonality in Atmospheric CO2’, Clim. Change 33, 111-120.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zimov, S. A., Voropaev, Y. V., Semiletov, I. P., Daviodov, S. P., Prosiannikov, S. F., Chapin, F. S. III, Chapin, M. C., Trumbore, S., and Tyler, S.: 1997, ‘North Siberian Lakes: a Methane Source Fueled by Pleistocene Carbon’, Science 277, 800-802.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zimov, S. A., Zimova, G. M., Daviodov, S. P., Daviodova, A. I., Voropaeva, Y. V., Vorpaeva, Z. V., Prosiannikov, S. F., Prosiannikova, O. V., Semiletova, I. V., and Semiletov, I. P.: 1993, ‘Winter Biotic Activity and Production of CO2 in Siberian Soils: a Factor in the Greenhouse Effect’, J. Geophys. Res. 98 (D3), 5017-5023.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Serreze, M.C., Walsh, J.E., Chapin, F.S. et al. Observational Evidence of Recent Change in the Northern High-Latitude Environment. Climatic Change 46, 159–207 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1005504031923

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1005504031923

Keywords

  • Greenhouse Warming
  • Downward Tendency
  • Northern Continent
  • Negative Mass Balance
  • Shrub Abundance