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Arctic report card: Permafrost thawing at a faster pace — The Washington Post

By Seth Borenstein

NEW ORLEANS — Permafrost in the Arctic is thawing at a faster clip, according to a new report released Tuesday.

Water is also warming and sea ice is melting at the fastest pace in 1,500 years at the top of the world.

The annual report released Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed slightly less warming in many measurements than a record hot 2016. But scientists remain concerned because the far northern region is warming twice as fast as the rest of the globe and has reached a level of warming that’s unprecedented in modern times.

“2017 continued to show us we are on this deepening trend where the Arctic is a very different place than it was even a decade ago,” said Jeremy Mathis, head of NOAA’s Arctic research program and co-author of the 93-page report.

Findings were discussed at the American Geophysical Union meeting in New Orleans.

“What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic; it affects the rest of the planet,” said acting NOAA chief Timothy Gallaudet. “The Arctic has huge influence on the world at large.”

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