NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center announced that last month was the warmest September on record for the planet. If the surface temperature remains elevated at the same level for the remainder of the year, 2014 will set a new record for the warmest annual average temperature since records began in 1880.
Alaska’s coastal waters are especially vulnerable to the drop in pH—acidification—that comes when excess carbon dioxide dissolves into the ocean from the atmosphere. These maps show relative risk levels for commerical and subsistence fisheries.
As sea level has changed, so has the way we measure it. Here’s a look at some of the technologies climate and marine scientists have used to track Earth’s tides and global sea level over the past two centuries.
Across the globe, changes in salinity over time generally match changes in precipitation: places where rainfall declines become saltier, while places where rainfall increases become fresher. Where did saltiness change over the past decade?
Through June, the eastern Pacific was warmer than average, but the lack of a strong gradient in sea surface temperature anomalies between the eastern and western Pacific may have kept the atmosphere from getting in sync with the developing El Niño.
The globally averaged sea surface temperature in 2013 was among the 10 highest on record, with the North Pacific reaching an historic high temperature. ENSO-neutral conditions and a negative Pacific Decadal Oscillation pattern had the largest impacts on global sea surface temperature in 2013.
Large-scale patterns of sea surface salinity in 2013 mirrored the overall trend seen from 2004 to 2013: salty, dry areas are becoming increasingly salty, and fresher areas are becoming increasingly fresh.
Upper ocean heat content has increased significantly over the past two decades. An estimated 70 percent of the excess heat has accumulated in the top 2,000 feet of the ocean, and the rest has flowed into deeper ocean layers.