How the Climate System Works

Temperature extremes have been pretty unusual across the United States so far in 2014. Looking back over this time period quickly reveals at least part of what was going on: the polar jet stream got into a serious rut.

Monday, August 1, 2011

  • In early 2010, water temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific were warmer than average, but a summertime reversal cooled the region off over the rest of the year.

  • Between January and April 2010, temperatures in the Pacific were under the warming influence of a fading El Niño episode. Meanwhile, higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere were dominated by a strong negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation.

  • In 2010, global temperatures were marked by near-record warmth and strong natural variability. This is the first in a series of posts highlighting findings from the "State of the Climate in 2010" report.