In a place routinely afflicted by drought, water managers in Tampa Bay use climate forecasts to ensure a water supply to people’s taps without sucking the region’s rivers, wetlands, and groundwater dry. The limits of their innovation might be tested in a future which could pose even more challenges to ensuring the oasis remains green.

 

Since the beginning of 2012, drought conditions have worsened along the eastern seaboard, adding to a dry picture for much of the United States.

Alabama farmer Myron Johnson talks about how adding seasonal climate outlooks to his decisions about when to plant and harvest his cover crops helped produce a bumper cotton crop during the 2010 growing season.

NCDC climate scientist Deke Arndt talks about the record March heat and the cumulative effect of a warm fall, winter, and early spring on “heating degree days”—an estimate of the energy demand during the U.S. cold season.

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

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.

In the mid-1980s, the winter sea ice pack in the Arctic was dominated by multi-year ice—ice that had survived at least one summer melt. Today, less than half of the sea ice at winter maximum has survived at least one summer.

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