Arctic climate in historical perspective
The records of the first IPY offer a rare glimpse of the circumpolar Arctic environment as it existed in the past. These observations collected so long ago now hold the potential to improve our understanding of historical climate variability and environmental change in the Arctic.
For the first time, the synoptic meterological records of the first IPY, along with an extensive documentary image collection, have been collected in a single location in digital format.
Initial comparison of IPY data with 20th century observations of climate and environmental change in the Arctic shows that surface air temperature (SAT) and sea-level pressure (SLP) observed during 1882-83 were within limits of a recent 30-year climatology and were consistent with a positive phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) pattern of variability.