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.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • In October 2003, a little-known think tank in the Department of Defense quietly released a report warning that climate change could happen so suddenly it could pose a major threat to our country's national security. Why was the Pentagon worried about abrupt climate change? Because new evidence from Greenland showed it had happened before. 

  • The Amazon Rainforest is a living warehouse for carbon dioxide. As climate changes, the lush tropical ecosystems of the Amazon Basin may release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than they absorb. NOAA scientist John Miller talks about how climate conditions in 2010 and 2011 created a natural experiment on how drought affects the Amazon's carbon balance.