Warmer Arctic is the 'new normal'
A warming, rapidly changing Arctic is the "new normal" and shows no signs of returning to the reliably frozen region of the past.
This is according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Arctic Report Card, BBC reports.
Director of the administration's Arctic Researcher Program, Dr Jeremy Mathis, said the region did a great service to the planet - acting as a refrigerator.
"We've now left that refrigerator door open," he added.
Dr Mathis was speaking at the annual American Geophysical Union meeting in New Orleans, where Noaa presented its annual summation of Arctic science.
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This is the 12th report the administration has produced. And although it pointed to "a few anomalies" in a recent pattern of warming in the Arctic region, Dr Mathis said: "We can confirm, it will not stay in its reliably frozen state."
"The thing I took that had the most resonance for me was we're able to use some really long-term records to put the Arctic change into context - going back more than 1,500 years.
"What's really alarming for me is that we're seeing the Arctic is changing faster than at any rate in recorded history."
The speed of change, Dr Mathis added, was making it very hard for people to adapt.
"Villages are being washed away, particularly in the North American Arctic - creating some of the first climate refugees," he said.
"And pace of sea level rise is increasing because the Arctic is warming faster than we anticipated even a decade ago."