flooded houses on Breezy Point following Hurricane Sandy

Understanding how extreme events in 2012 were influenced—or not—by human-caused climate change

From record-low Arctic sea ice to the highest global sea level of the modern record, the 2012 State of the Climate report provides a complete rundown on the state of Earth's climate and how it is changing.

Global average sea level in 2012 was 1.4 inches above the 1993-2010 average, which was the highest yearly average in the satellite record. Sea level has been rising over the past century, and the pace has increased in recent decades.

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.

At the edge of southern Louisiana sits Port Fourchon—the hub through which 20 percent of our nation’s oil and gas supplies are distributed to the rest of the country. The only road leading to and from this major port is the Louisana-1 Highway. A drive down the LA-1 through a vulnerable but vibrant coastal landscape shows what is at stake if ‘America’s longest main street’ fails to stay above water.

Port Fourchon services 90 percent of all deepwater activity in the Gulf of Mexico. Port Director Chett Chiasson tours the harbor while discussing climate adaptation and resilience.

Henri Boulet of the LA-1 Coalition and Tim Osborn of NOAA’s Office of Coastal Survey explain how engineers use climate data to plan for sea level rise and to keep the oil industry in business in Port Fourchon.

The mayor of the last inhabited barrier island in the Gulf describes how Grand Isle's dunes are Louisiana’s first line of defense against surging storms.

David Miller of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development was one of the engineers given the task of determining how high to raise several miles of the Louisiana-1, or LA-1, highway. Climate data were essential for making sure that the roadway would last 75-100 years into the future.

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