In October 2003, a little-known think tank in the Department of Defense quietly released a report warning that climate change could happen so suddenly it could pose a major threat to our country's national security. Why was the Pentagon worried about abrupt climate change? Because new evidence from Greenland showed it had happened before. 

Working with private companies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency uses precipitation data from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center as part of an insurance program for ranchers and those who grow hay or other livestock forage. This video describes how it works.

Maps of precipitation deficits through January show California mountain areas generally have greater deficits than lower elevations, and Southern California with larger deficits than areas to the north. The drought outlook for February remained grim.

As climate changes in the Great Lakes region, the popular yellow perch–which some consider the ultimate pan-fried fish–may become much less common, potentially forcing consumers to adopt new traditions.

The U.S. Drought Portal offers access to maps, data, and expert assessments through easy-to-use tools designed to help decision makers monitor, plan for, and recover from water shortages.

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