The ongoing drought of 2011-2012 has been front and center for people in the southern United States, including the southwestern United States. Dave Brown, Director of Climate Services for the Southern Region through NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, speaks about the causes, impacts, and outlook for this widepread climate event.

Jake Crouch of the National Climatic Data Center recaps the temperature patterns of 2011, emphasizing the much greater than average warmth across Arctic latitudes and the influence of La Niña in the tropical Pacific.

In the 2011 Arctic Report Card, scientists report that the bright white surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet has grown less reflective. The darker surface absorbs more sunlight, accelerating melting.

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