NOAA released the 2012 installment of the annual Arctic Report Card on December 5, 2012, as part of the American Geophysical Union's fall meeting. This image collection is a gallery of highlights based on the report's major themes. It was developed by the NOAA Climate.gov team in cooperation with Arctic Report Card authors and other Arctic experts.
Much of the western and southern central United States could be in for a warmer-than-average winter this year, while the upper Midwest and Florida peninsula could experience colder-than-average temperatures. Most of California and western Nevada could experience well-below-normal precipitation, while parts of the southeast could receive well-above-normal precipitation.
The average global temperature for June 2012 was the fourth highest for any June since record keeping began in 1880. Land-only surface temperatures were the highest on record for the month. June 2012 also marks the 36th consecutive June and 328th consecutive month with a global temperature above the twentieth-century average. The last June with below-average global temperatures was June 1976.
According to NOAA’s 2012 Spring Outlook, odds are that dry conditions and above-average temperatures will persist in much of the South, where drought is still lingering after making headlines in 2011. But last year’s most devastating flood events are unlikely to repeat.
It is virtually certain our world will continue to warm over this century and beyond. The exact amount of warming that will occur in the coming century depends largely on the energy choices that we make now and in the next few decades.
The types of tree species that grow in a particular region determine the range of bright colors that paint our landscapes during the fall season. In the future, scientists project that the forest habitats all around us may undergo major changes to due to warming temperatures.