This study was motivated by a strong warming signal seen in mooring-based and oceanographic survey data collected in 2004 in the Eurasian Basin of the Arctic Ocean. The source of this and earlier Arctic Ocean changes lies in interactions between polar and sub-polar basins. Evidence suggests such changes are abrupt, or pulse-like, taking the form of propagating anomalies that can be traced to higher-latitudes. For example, an anomaly found in 2004 in the eastern Eurasian Basin took ∼1.5 years to propagate from the Norwegian Sea to the Fram Strait region, and additional ∼4.5–5 years to reach the Laptev Sea slope. While the causes of the observed changes will require further investigation, our conclusions are consistent with prevailing ideas suggesting the Arctic Ocean is in transition towards a new, warmer state.