Deke Arndt, Chief of the Climate Monitoring Branch at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center talks about the unusual heat in May 2012.

From poor soil to scorching summer heat, farmers in the U.S. Southeast face some significant challenges. Two Southeast growers are looking to seasonal climate forecasts to give them an edge.

Temperature anomaly map

Record and near-record breaking temperatures dominated the eastern two-thirds of the nation and contributed to the warmest March in the contiguous United States since records began in 1895. The average temperature was 8.6 degrees above the 20th century average for March. In the past 117 years, only one month (January 2006) has ever been so much warmer than its average temperature.

The U.S. had its fourth warmest winter on record. NOAA's Deke Arndt recaps the 2011-2012 winter.

James Roger Fleming presents a historical perspective on how our understanding of Earth's climate system developed through innovations and discoveries by pioneering scientists in the 1800s and 1900s who asked and answered fundamental questions about the causes and effects of global climate change.

 

Although they are related, meteorology and climatology have important differences, particularly in how scientists develop and use weather and climate models. What makes climatologists think they can project climate scenarios decades into the future when meteorologists cannot accurately predict weather more than two weeks in advance? This presentation by Wayne Higgins of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center clarifies the relationships and differences between weather and climate, as well as the differences between natural climate variability and human-induced climate change.

Deke Arndt, chief of NOAA's Climate Monitoring Branch, presents the preponderance of scientific evidence that climate change is occurring and that humans are the primary cause.

Humans currently release about 70 million tons of carbon dioxide every day into the atmosphere and about 20 million tons is being absorbed regularly by the oceans, causing the pH to drop.  Chris Sabine describes current and projected future impacts of this acidification on marine ecology.

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