Resources for monitoring global warming

Nary a day goes by without another story on the effects of climate change in the Arctic. While scientists agree the average temperature of the planet is steadily creeping up, the Arctic is warming far more quickly - as much as two or three times faster.


The pace of temperature increases in Svalbard has ramped up since 1980

The impact is being felt strongly in Svalbard where it has now been 6 years since the average monthly temperature has been at or below normal. This autumn we experienced severe flooding in October at a time the ground should have been frozen solid. The fact that Svalbard is one of the most important regions in the world for global warming research - scientists flock here from all over the world, often to research or teach at UNIS, the world's northernmost university campus - means residents both feel and hear about the effects.


UNIS, the world's northernmost university campus (photo: Josef Knecht)


To help make sense of it all, we've highlighted some of the best sources of information where you can keep up to date with the latest news on this incredibly important issue.


National Geographic recently published a compelling report: "11 Ways to See How Climate Change is Imperiling the Arctic".


Based at the University of Colorado, the US National Sea and Ice Data Center provides in-depth scientific analysis on arctic sea ice conditions. The data is updated on a daily basis and includes excellent graphics which help to explain complex developments.


Data mapped by the US National Sea Ice Data Center showing shrinking arctic summer ice cover


The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) compiles an annual report card on the state of the Arctic and publishes regular news updates.


The Norwegian Polar Institute is Norway's central government institution for scientific research, mapping and environment monitoring of the Arctic and provides news updates relating to climate change.


The Norwegian Polar Institute research centre at the scientific outpost of Ny Ålesund


NASA's Global Climate Change - Vital Signs of the Planet website provides excellent multimedia data on the state of sea ice as well as powerful satellite images of the effects of climate change.


Based in Tromsø, Norway the Arctic Council is the leading intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation among Arctic states. The Arctic Resilience Report, launched by the Council last November identifies 19 tipping points that have and can occur in Arctic ecosystems. This groundbreaking report is an unprecedented effort to gain insight into what is happening in the Arctic. In general, the Council's news articles are an important source for anybody who wants to get a deeper understanding of the impacts of climate change.


The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) is one of the working groups of the Arctic Council and monitors climate change in the Arctic region. It publishes reports on issues relating to pollution and climate change issues.


Melting ice: the glacier on the left at 79° north in Svalbard used to extend to the island on the right


The Polar Hub is the website of the Polar Learning and Responding Climate Change Education Partnership. In addition to featuring the latest in polar climate science and news, The Hub provides information on educational resources focused on polar climate change.