For a second straight year, the Arctic is warming faster than any other place in the world, and walrus populations in the area’s Pacific and Atlantic ocean regions are thinning along with the ice sheets that are critical for their survival, researchers reported Tuesday.

Overall, the outlook for the frozen top of the world is bleak, according to the annual Arctic Report Card: 2015 Update released by the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Since the turn of the last century, it said, the Arctic’s air temperature has increased by more than 5 degrees due to global warming.

Warmer air and sea temperatures melt ice that in turn expands oceans and causes sea-level rise, which scientists say presents a danger to cities along the entire Atlantic coast, from Miami to Washington to Boston. Walrus and other arctic mammals that give birth on ice sheets are struggling with the change, and fish such as cod and Greenland halibut are swimming north from fishermen and animals that feed on them in pursuit of colder waters.

The annual average surface-air temperature over the period of the report, between October 2014 and September 2015, was nearly 2.5 degrees higher than the time period scientists use as a baseline to compare temperatures, 1981 to 2010. As a result, Alaska was warmer in fall 2014 and winter this year, when the snow pack that usually melts to replenish rivers and moisten the earth was extremely low.

Lightning strikes on dry land sparked that state’s second-worst wildfire season in its history. According to the NOAA report card, “the 2015 spring melt season provided evidence of earlier snow melt across the Arctic” because of the increased warmth. As of early July, the Arctic melt included more than half of the region’s ice sheet for the first time “since the exceptional melt of 2012.” The length of the melt season was up to 40 days longer than that of the average northwestern, northeastern and western regions, the report said.

This year’s report is largely consistent with the dire findings last year. Dozens of scientists from across the world contribute to the report card.

The age of Arctic ice generally defines the region’s health. Older ice is thicker, more resilient and resistant to atmospheric changes, and better at supporting mammals. Younger ice is thin and vulnerable to collapse.

Yet in nearly all Arctic regions, sea ice is decreasing, the report said. “This is the first year that first-year ice dominated the ice cover,” it notes. “Sea ice cover has transformed from a strong, thick pack in the 1980s to a more fragile, thin and younger pack in recent years.”