National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2015

The climate of the Pacific Arctic during the first RUSALCA decade: 2004–2013

Wood, K.R., J. Wang, S.A. Salo, and P.J. Stabeno

Oceanography, 28(3), 24–35, doi: 10.5670/oceanog.2015.55 (2015)

The Russian-American Long-term Census of the Arctic (RUSALCA) research program (2004–present) is being conducted during a period of rapid environmental change in the Arctic. With access to both sides of the international convention line, RUSALCA is uniquely positioned to monitor key regions of the Pacific Arctic, including Bering Strait and the western Chukchi Sea. This paper describes the climate context for the first decade of RUSALCA (2004–2013) and provides additional analyses needed to relate observations obtained during three extended research expeditions with seasonal and longer-time-scale variations in sea ice concentration, weather, and ocean temperature patterns in the broader Pacific Arctic region. Results highlight the benefit and continuing need for sustained international and multidisciplinary collaboration in climate research, as exemplified by the RUSALCA program.

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