Sea Surface Temperature:
From 1957 to 2012, the Central Arctic LME #64 has warmed by 0.10°C, thus belonging to Category 4 (slow warming LME). The Central Arctic is covered with ice in winter. During that time ice concentration approaches 100%. Leads between ice floes are quite rare and narrow. Wide leads or polynyas that would allow satellite measurements of SST are almost non-existent. In summer the sea ice cover retreats, so that the Central Arctic become partly ice-free. The annual mean SST analyzed in this report is thus based almost exclusively on summertime measurements. Because of this constraint, the thermal history of SST in this LME has not been covered in the previous analysis (Belkin, 2009). The extremely slow warming observed since 1957 through 2001 was followed by a relatively rapid warming, which was quite abrupt between 2006-2007. This abrupt shift was possibly related to the rapid shrinking of the Arctic sea ice cover observed in the 2000s. After the 2006-2007 shift, the Central Arctic SST remained stable between 2007 and 2012, notwithstanding the ongoing shrinking of the Arctic sea ice cover.