Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic

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Source: Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme

Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic

The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme’s (AMAP) new assessment of the impacts of climate change on Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA) brings together the latest scientific knowledge about the changing state of each component of the Arctic ‘cryosphere’. It examines how these changes will impact both the Arctic as a whole and people living within the Arctic—and elsewhere in the world.

The SWIPA Assessment follows on from the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), published in 2005. It aims to update the findings from ACIA and to provide more in-depth coverage of issues related to the Arctic cryosphere.

The observed changes in sea ice on the Arctic Ocean and in the mass of the Greenland Ice Sheet and Arctic ice caps and glaciers over the past ten years are dramatic and represent an obvious departure from the long-term patterns.

The document attached here (below, right) presents the Executive Summary of the 2011 SWIPA Assessment. More detailed information on the results of the SWIPA Assessment can be found in the SWIPA Scientific Assessment Report and related SWIPA Overview Report that are currently being prepared for publication. For more information contact the AMAP Secretariat.

The past six years (2005–2010) have been the warmest period ever recorded in the Arctic. Higher surface air temperatures are driving changes in the cryosphere.



(2012). Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic. Retrieved from