Unprecedented high temperatures in the Arctic this year have triggered a huge decline in sea ice and snow, according to the 2016 Arctic Report Card.

The report card was written by 61 scientists based in 11 different countries and is backed by the US's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It takes a broad view of the global changes in air, ocean, land and ecosystems.

5. Arctic temperatures are soaring

The average Arctic air temperature over land was a full 3.5C warmer than it was in 1900. This year was the highest observed on record.

4. Snow cover is at an all-time low

Satellite observations have helped keep track of Arctic snow cover since records began in 1967. No surprises that 2016 is the worst year for snow cover. In May, snow cover was less than 4 million sq km, the lowest cover on record.

3. The Greenland Ice Sheet is still shrinking

The Greenland Ice Sheet – home to some of the fastest-melting glaciers in the world – is continuing to melt. This year, however, the date at which the ice sheet started melting wasn't the earliest on record. Good job, 2016. It was only the second earliest, after 2012.

2. Ocean temperatures were high

In August 2016, ocean surface temperatures were 5C above the 30-year average leading up to 2010. The Barents Sea, the Chukchi Sea and the coasts of Greenland were among of the warmest.

1. Sea ice cover was very low

After making headlines many times towards the end of the year, sea ice in the Arctic was yet another record-breaker in 2016. The minimum sea ice extent from October to November was the lowest on record. It was a full 28% below the 30-year average for the time of year.

Arctic sea ice is getting thinner, too, with the majority made of fragile new ice that is more prone to melting.

"We are witnessing changes in the Arctic that will impact generations to come. Warmer temperatures and dwindling sea ice threaten the future of Arctic wildlife, as well as local cultures and communities," Rod Downie, WWF-UK Polar programme manager, said in a statement in response to the 2016 report card.

"The science cannot be clearer. The Arctic is dramatically changing as a result of our carbon emissions. This report card should be seen as yet another red flashing light. Protecting the future of the top of the world requires us to reduce emissions across the rest of the planet. The way forward now is to turn away from fossil fuels and embrace clean energy solutions."

Arctic sea ice
Arctic sea ice may have reached tipping point, scientists say, as warm weather events against a background of climate change amplify temperature rises.NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Flickr