Observing & Predicting

We're nine laps into the race to set a new global annual temperature record. NOAA climate scientist Deke Arndt talks about how this year's race might end--and why yearly rankings tell us less about the big picture of climate change than we might think.

  • We're nine laps into the race to set a new global annual temperature record. NOAA climate scientist Deke Arndt talks about how this year's race might end--and why yearly rankings tell us less about the big picture of climate change than we might think.

  • (Video) The Climate Prediction Center's outlook for December through February gives California a 2-in-3 chance of receiving normal precipitation or better. Cool, wet conditions are favored in some southern regions, while warm weather is favored to the west, including Alaska and Hawaii.

  • Warm oceans lead to record September warmth for Alaska maritime locations.

  • Florida's humid climate is a major headache for strawberry growers. An alert system that warns of fungus-friendly weather conditions has reduced costs and risks associated with unnecessary chemical spraying.

  • Natural variability can explain much of Earth's average temperature variation since the end of the last ice age, but over the past century, global average temperature has risen from near the coldest to the warmest levels in the past 11,300 years.

  • 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.

  • Flash floods scoured Phoenix and surrounding areas on September 8, 2014. How did the rainfall totals compare to normal September precipitation?

  • It's the time of year for potentially toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie. But the stage for most blooms is set in spring.

  • Never in the historical record have such large areas of the country experienced such radically different temperature extremes as they have so far in 2014.

  • Since we last covered the California drought, conditions in the state have stayed, well, dry—very dry. Statewide, total precipitation is about equal to or below the lowest three-year period since 1895.

  • 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.

  • As the assessment now known as the BAMS State of the Climate report pushes into its third decade, international participation is at an all-time high. From atmospheric chemists to tropical meteorologists, more than 420 authors from institutions in 57 countries contributed to this year’s report.

  • The annual average concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere stood at 395.3 parts per million (ppm) in 2013—a 27 percent increase compared to conditions before the Industrial Revolution. On May 9, 2013, the daily average concentration of CO2 surpassed 400 ppm for the first time at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.

  • Observing temperature patterns in the lower stratosphere gives scientists clues about our planet’s changing climate. Global average temperatures in the lower stratosphere for 2013 were slightly below the 1981–2010 average.  

  • 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.

  • In 2012—for the 23rd consecutive year—mountain glaciers worldwide lost more mass through melting than they gained through new snow accumulation. The retreat of the majority of mountain glaciers worldwide is one of the clearest signs that climate is warming over the long term.

  • 2013 continued a trend of water vapor in the surface atmosphere increasing over land and ocean relative to the 1970s, while the atmosphere over land becomes less saturated. 

  • In 2013, global average sea level was 1.5 inches above the 1993-2010 average, which is the highest yearly average in the satellite record (1993-present). Overall, sea level continues to rise at a rate of one-eighth of an inch per year.

  •  Arctic sea ice extent shrunk down to 2.0 million square miles (5.1 million square kilometers) in September 2013—18 percent below the 1981-2010 average, but larger than record low set in 2012.

  • While the Northern Hemisphere’s snow cover on land ranked as the 13th most extensive on record in 2013, snow cover extent at the end of the cold season has dropped by 19.9 percent per decade since 1979 relative to the 1981-2010 average.

  • Globally-averaged surface temperature for 2013 was 0.36 - 0.38° Fahrenheit above the 1981–2010 average, placing it among the top 10 warmest years since record-keeping began. 

  • From the strongest typhoon ever observed to historically high atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, the State of the Climate in 2013 report provides a complete rundown on the state of Earth's climate and how it is changing.

  • In the midst of a drought in 2008, biologists discovered dead Coho and steelhead trout in a tributary of the Russian River. When the dust settled, the focus turned to how winegrowers and other water users could reduce their impact. The event provided the parties involved—winegrowers, conservationists, and the water agency—an opportunity to find common ground in the realm of science.

  • On August 25, 2011, Dr. Elwynn Taylor, Iowa State University’s Extension Climatologist, tweeted to Iowa corn farmers: “Weather based statistics indicate a US corn yield of 149BPA, the prime factor this year is the Aridity Index.” Taylor uses NOAA climate information and seasonal outlooks to help thousands of the region’s farmers manage risk. Nearly 5,000 followers look to his Twitter feed for guidance.

  • Decision Maker's Toolbox Annual Greenhouse Gas Index

    Since 2004, researchers in NOAA’s Global Monitoring Division have released the Annual Greenhouse Gas Index: a single value that compares the total warming effect of each year's concentrations of heat-trapping gases to 1990 levels.

  • In April 2011, Texas was in the midst of what may have been its worst fire season in history. As the season began, NOAA outlooks and observations helped fire managers think strategically about where their resources could be most effective.

  • CarbonTracker is a tool for modelling sources and sinks of carbon dioxide. Users can download the code, carbon dioxide data, and the tool's carbon flux estimates to conduct their own analyses or to help improve the system.

  • Like a prehistoric fly trapped in amber during dinosaurs' days, airborne relics of Earth's earlier climate can end up trapped in glacial ice for eons. How do climate scientists turn those tiny relics into a story about Earth's ancient climate?

  • Research oceanographer Jonathan Hare answers questions about the first application of a new protocol for assessing the vulnerability of Northeast fisheries to climate change.

  • (VIDEO) Visualizing data makes it easier to understand exactly how an extreme weather event affected people’s lives, livelihoods, and property and how those things could be affected in the future. Knowing how to access and analyze the wide variety of datasets needed to study those events can be a challenge, however. NOAA's Weather and Climate Toolkit makes the job easier. 

     

  • A few storms found their way to the drought-stricken California coast late this winter, but they barely made a dent in the state's huge water deficits. As the North Pacific winter storm season recedes, there is little likelihood for substantial drought recovery.

  • Federal law may protect the river habitat in the name of endangered fish, but on land, grapevines are king. This article is the first in a two-part series about how scientists are helping find compromise amid local tensions over water supplies.

  • Climate change is a global phenomenon, affecting weather events around the world.

  • 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. 

  • Working with private companies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency uses precipitation data from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center as part of an insurance program for ranchers and those who grow hay or other livestock forage. This video describes how it works.

  • Persistent cold temperatures in the Midwest this winter almost completely frozen over many of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) reported that 88 percent of the Great Lakes were frozen as of mid-February.

  • The historic rainfall that flooded the Colorado Front Range in September 2013 did little to dampen drought in the state's southeastern plains.

  • Water resources manager Laura Briefer describes how Salt Lake City’s Department of Public Utilities is using climate information to help plan for the city’s future.

  • Maps of precipitation deficits through January show California mountain areas generally have greater deficits than lower elevations, and Southern California with larger deficits than areas to the north. The drought outlook for February remained grim.

  • The WestMap climate analysis and mapping toolbox is an interactive, web-based tool that helps users see the climate conditions that underlie droughts, storms, floods, and changes in streamflow.

  • As climate changes in the Great Lakes region, the popular yellow perch–which some consider the ultimate pan-fried fish–may become much less common, potentially forcing consumers to adopt new traditions.

  • Concentration of carbon dioxide is about 1.4 times what it was before the Industrial Revolution. How much and how fast will Earth warm if carbon dioxide concentrations double the pre-industrial?

  • Among the questions triggered by the entrapment of a Russian ship near Antarctica on Christmas Eve were whether the ice conditions were out of the ordinary, and, if so, whether long-term climate change was playing a role.

  • ANIMATION: The globally averaged temperature for 2013 tied as the fourth warmest year since record keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA scientists. It was the 37th consecutive year with a global temperature above the 20th-century average. This animation starts with the 2013 difference from average temperature and continues through monthly temperature anomaliies for January-December.

  • The Arctic Oscillation describes simultaneous, geographically “choreographed” shifts in multiple features of the polar vortex: air pressure, temperature, and the location and strength of the jet stream. They all follow the hemisphere-wide oscillation of atmospheric mass back and forth between the Arctic and the middle latitudes, sort of like water sloshing in a bowl.

  • A few days of unusually cold weather in the U.S. and Canada aren't a sign that a century-or-more trend of rising global surface temperatures has reversed itself. In fact, the cold wasn't even all that widespread for the Northern Hemisphere.

  • Meteorologists have known for years that the pattern of the polar vortex determines how much cold air escapes from the Arctic and makes its way to the U.S. during the winter. Climate scientists are wondering if a warmer Arctic could explain its odd behavior in recent years.

  • (Video) Thick, old ice used to dominate the winter ice pack in the Arctic. This animation of maps of sea ice age from 1987 through end of October 2013 shows how little old ice is left in the Arctic.

  • From reindeer to regional temperature patterns, from sea ice age to Greenland surface melt, the Arctic Report Card is a yearly assessment of the Arctic's physical and biological systems and how they are changing. This collection of visual highlights from the 2013 report is a story of the Arctic in pictures.

  • Since the mid-1960s, the Arctic has warmed about 3.6°F (2.0°C)—more than double the amount of warming in lower latitudes. In 2012 (the last complete calendar year available at the time scientists began working on the 2013 Arctic Report Card), the annual average temperature was the sixth warmest on record.

  • (VIDEO) Without a strong influence from El Niño or La Niña, the U.S. winter climate is less predictable. Based on recent trends, however, drought is likely to develop in the Southwest and Southeast over the 2013-14 winter.

  • Traditional weather forecasts consist of weather maps that predict exactly how much rain may fall or the maximum daily temperature of an area. NOAA climate outlooks forecast the odds that future weather conditions will be above, below, or near normal.

  • The U.S. Drought Portal offers access to maps, data, and expert assessments through easy-to-use tools designed to help decision makers monitor, plan for, and recover from water shortages.

  • October in Alaska this year was more like September, with warmth and rain in place of autumn chill and snow. Wind anomalies related to unusual pressure patterns conspired to bring a steady stream of warm, wet air from southerly latitudes into Alaska.

  • Stunned by Sandy's devastation, the city of New York undertook an ambitious project: to update its long-term sustainability plan using the latest climate science. Their goal was to understand how much sea level could rise, how soon, and just how vulnerable the city would be if some of the more extreme climate change projections turn into reality.

  • For much of Alaska, lack of snow, soaking rains, and record-warmth have made October feel more like September.

  • Developed by the NOAA Coastal Services Center, the sea level rise viewer offers access to data and information about the risks of sea level rise, storm surge, and flooding along the coastal United States. The Web-based map has the potential to help people build (or rebuild) in a more resilient way.

  • Developed by the NOAA Coastal Services Center, the sea level rise viewer offers access to data and information about the risks of sea level rise, storm surge, and flooding along the coastal United States. The Web-based map has the potential to help business owners and community planners build (or rebuild) in a more resilient way.

  • Ron Stouffer and Gabriel Vecchi of NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, N.J., share their experiences working on one of the most comprehensive scientific documents in history.

  • To be consistent with NOAA's use of 30-year periods for the official "climate normals," the National Snow and Ice Data Center switched its baseline period for sea ice analyses from 1979-2000 to 1981-2010.  Compared to the new normal, the low ice conditions of the recent past will appear less abnormal than they used to.

     

  • August 2013 came and went without a single Atlantic hurricane. That's unusual, but by no means unprecedented.

  • Since 2002, Octobers in Barrow, Alaska—America's northernmost town—are regularly near the warmest on record, thanks to the retreat of sea ice. The warming hinders traditional hunting activities, makes the town more vulnerable to storm surge flooding, and thaws the frozen ground to greater depths, which destabilizes roads, house foundations, and traditional underground freezers.

  • (video) Chief Meteorologist Jim Gandy, at WLTX in Columbia, SC, earned his reputation as a leading TV meteorologist by giving his viewers what they want: sound science and interesting visuals in a delivery style that's crisp and easy to understand.  Recently, Gandy expanded his reports to include locally focused climate science information on topics that directly touch viewers' lives.  No controversy here, says Gandy, just good community service. 
     

  • On July 30, 2013, a weather station on the southwest coast of Greenland preliminarily set a new record high temperature for the country, but whether it will stand as an "official" record after scientists apply quality control procedures isn't yet known. What is known? Greenland's getting warmer.

  • 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.

  • The extent of snow-covered ground in the Northern Hemisphere at the end of the cold season (June) hit a record low. Annual average snow cover extent has not exceeded the long-term average even once since 2003. Between 1979 and 2011, the snow cover in June is declining even faster than the end-of-summer Arctic sea ice extent.

  •  Since 1976, every year has been warmer than the long-term average, and 2012 continued the trend: the global surface temperature ranked among the top 10 warmest years on record.
     

  • Glacier mass balance in 2011 (the most recent year for which worldwide analysis is complete) was negative, and preliminary data indicate that 2012 will probably be the 22nd consecutive year of net losses in glacier mass. Between 1980 and 2011, glaciers around the world lost the water equivalent of 15.7 meters. That would be like slicing a roughly 17-meter-thick slab off the top of the average glacier and repeating that exercise worldwide.

  • 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.

  • Earth's atmosphere includes billions and billions of gallons of evaporated water: in fact, water vapor is Earth's most abundant greenhouse gas.

  • Sea surface temperature—the average temperature of water at the surface of the global ocean—is a key indicat

  • In 2012, sea ice melted to a record-breaking minimum extent. At the end of the summer melt season, ice covered only about half of the average area it did from 1979–2000.

  • The ocean’s ability to store and release heat over long periods of time gives it a central role in stabilizing Ear

  • Tampa Bay Water Supply Manager Allison Adams knows water is precious for the millions of residents who rely on the water agency for drinking water and recreation, and for the region’s natural ecosystems, including wetlands and lakes. Adams and colleagues discuss how their evolving water management approach allows them to balance diverse water needs in the face of often unpredictable water sources and cycles.

  • Tampa Bay Water provides safe, potable drinking water to 2.3 million people in the Tampa Bay region.  But future availability of surface water can be hard to predict, and drought is a recurring challenge there.  The water utility managers are increasingly using seasonal climate forecasts to track climate variability, which helps them better plan their water supply and reduce their vulnerability to seasonal climate impacts.

  • NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) has issued its 2013 Atlantic hurricane seasonal outlook. In this video, Gerry Bell, a NOAA CPC meteorologist, explains that as of May 23, 2013, the outlook favors an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season from June 1 through November 30.

  • During late winter, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas received sorely needed rain which helped reduce short-term impacts, like wildfire and dry topsoil. But as Deke Arndt explains, it has taken months to develop deep and severe drought in the region, and a few wet weeks won't erase that situation. It can take months of ideal conditions to bring soil, rivers, and vegetation back to health.

  • Spring 2013 has brought something fairly unusual in recent years: colder-than-average temperature for the nation as a whole. NOAA's Deke Arndt talks about how spring temperatures in three U.S. climate divisions compare to the local long-term trend.

  • Although most drifting buoys start their journeys with a crude send-off—usually heaved into the ocean from the stern of a moving ship—NOAA oceanographer Rick Lumpkin describes today's drifter as "a high-tech message in a bottle."  Insignificant on their own, but an army of drifters 1,000 strong patrols the world's oceans and records key data for climate monitoring and research.

  • NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center released its Spring Outlook on March 21. The big story for the upcoming spring? Relief for many drought-stricken areas of the United States is not likely.

  • The Spring Outlook encompasses temperature, precipitation, drought, and flooding expectations for the coming three months, and Mike Halpert, Acting Director of the Climate Prediction Center, discusses the outlook and its implications.
     

  • Winter storms in February improved drought in the Southeast and Midwest, but well below average precipitation in parts of the West in recent months has worsened drought in other places.

  • Deke Arndt, Chief of the Climate Monitoring Branch, National Climatic Data Center

  • It’s natural to associate drought with heat and with summer, but drought also impacts us during winter months. Winter wheat yields are declining, and the Mississippi River is approaching an all-time low. Understanding drought conditions and how they are affecting us is part of being “climate smart.”
     

  • 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.

  • The summer of 2012 brought Greenland far more extensive melt than anything observed in the satellite record: in July 2012, surface melt extended over nearly the entire ice sheet. The standardized melt index was nearly double the previous record.

  • Josh Kent of Louisiana State University gives a simple explanation of how sea level rise from climate change and sinking of the land both contribute to coastal changes.

  • Randy Osborne of LSU and NOAA's Tim Osborn explain how global positioning system (GPS) satellites measure subsidence and sea level rise.

  • After 16 consecutive months with warmer-than-normal conditions, the U.S. is headed for its warmest year on record.

     

  • In summer of 2012, warm and dry climate climate conditions combined with weather to spark one of the West's largest wildfire seasons yet.

  • Arctic sea ice extent set a new record low at the end of the summer melt season on September 16, 2012. But extent is not the only quality of the ice that is changing. Wind and ocean circulation patterns are conspiring with a warmer climate to reduce the amount of year-round (multi-year) ice, transforming the remaining ice into a younger, thinner version of its old self.

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    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.

     

  • Deke Arndt of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center reports that heavy rains from Hurricane Isaac in late August fell too late–and mostly in the wrong places–to provide much relief from U.S. drought.

  • A scorching July contributed to the third hottest summer on record for the contiguous United States. Most of the U.S. was also drier than average. Rains from Isaac did little to relieve drought.

  • Imagine heat waves like the one last July coming more often & lasting longer: that’s the projection from climate models for the middle of this century based on one future emissions path.

  • Arctic sea ice extent fell to 1.58 million square miles on August 26, 2012. This was 27,000 square miles smaller than the previous record low of 1.61 million square miles set in 2007.

  • The current drought in the Southwest is not drier or longer-lasting than historic episodes documented in tree rings, but the current dry conditions stand out from the historical record by being hotter, according to Jonathan Overpeck, professor of geosciences at the University of Arizona.

  • Jeff Privette describes the challenges of using satellites that people designed for observing changes in the weather from day to day to study changes in climate from decade to decade.

  • Anthony Arguez, Normals Program Manager at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center explains what scientists mean when they compare current weather conditions to “normal.”

  • The lead character in the 2011 climate story was La Niña—the cool phase of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation—which chilled the central and eastern tropical Pacific at both

  • In September 2011, Arctic sea ice reached its second-lowest minimum extent in the satellite record.

  • Check the fine print on many cans of hairspray or shaving cream these days, and you’ll probably find a reassurance that the product you are holding contains “No CFCs or chemicals known

  • Except for some La Niña-cooled regions of the tropical Pacific and a few other cool spots, the upper ocean held more heat than average in 2011 in the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Southern Oceans.

  • In early 2011, stratospheric temperatures rose over the tropics due to La Nina while temperatures over the poles fell below the long-term average.

  • In 2011, global sea levels fell below the long-term trend of sea level rise, but as La Niña waned late in the year, global ocean levels began rising rapidly.

  • Despite the double-dip La Nina that occurred throughout the year, 2011 was still among the 15 warmest years on record. Including the 2011 temperature, the rate of warming since 1971 is now between 0.14° and 0.17° Celsius per decade (0.25°-0.31° Fahrenheit), and 0.71-0.77° Celsius per century (1.28°-1.39° F) since 1901.

  • In 2011, Earth’s atmosphere was cooler and drier than it had been the previous year, but it was more humid than the long-term average.

  • In 2011, La Niña and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation cooled parts of the Pacific Ocean, but unusually warm temperatures predominated elsewhere.

  • In 2011, annual snow cover extent over Northern Hemisphere continents (including the Greenland ice sheet) averaged 24.7 million square kilometers, which is 0.3 million square kilometers less than the long-term average.

  • Data from 2010 indicate that mountain glaciers predominantly lost mass, and preliminary data from 2011 indicate a continuation of the same long-term trend.

  • NOAA's 2012 hurricane outlook favors a slightly below average number and strength of storms in the central Pacific basin and a near-average season in both the Eastern Pacific and Atlantic basins.

  • Deke Arndt, Chief of the Climate Monitoring Branch at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center talks about the unusual heat in May 2012.

  • Kristin Laidre, a marine mammal biologist, has taken more than thirty trips to the Arctic, many of them to study the mysterious narwhal. Although the narwhal has appeared in stories throughout history, scientists are just beginning to understand this quirky creature with a fierce survival instinct. But in recent years, a series of unusual events led Laidre to wonder if narwhals are being caught off guard by changes in their unforgiving environment…

  • From poor soil to scorching summer heat, farmers in the U.S. Southeast face some significant challenges. Two Southeast growers are looking to seasonal climate forecasts to give them an edge.

  • Grower Kirk Brock talks about adapting to rainfall extremes on his dryland farm in Florida and how seasonal climate forecasts should help him improve his operation.

  • 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.

  • map of US winter temp anomalies 2011-2012

    When NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center crunched the numbers for December, January and February—”meteorological” winter for 2011-2012—it stacked up as the fourth warmest of the past 117 winters. Virtually all of the West received less than its average precipitation.

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

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    It is virtually certain our world will continue to warm over this century and beyond. The exact amount of warming that will occur in the coming century depends largely on the energy choices that we make now and in the next few decades.
  • 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.

  • James Roger Fleming presents a historical perspective on how our understanding of Earth's climate system developed through innovations and discoveries by pioneering scientists in the 1800s and 1900s who asked and answered fundamental questions about the causes and effects of global climate change.

     

  • Deke Arndt, chief of NOAA's Climate Monitoring Branch, presents the preponderance of scientific evidence that climate change is occurring and that humans are the primary cause.

  • Climate scientist Anthony Janetos makes it clear that climate change isn't some future abstraction: real and substantial impacts on people's lives, the economy, the environment, and our valuable natural resources are already happening here in the United States.

     

  • Humans currently release about 70 million tons of carbon dioxide every day into the atmosphere and about 20 million tons is being absorbed regularly by the oceans, causing the pH to drop.  Chris Sabine describes current and projected future impacts of this acidification on marine ecology.

  • Felix Kogan talks about using satellites to observe and forecast the climate conditions that lead to mosquito–and malaria–outbreaks.
     

  • Jake Crouch of the National Climatic Data Center recaps the temperature patterns of 2011, emphasizing the much greater than average warmth across Arctic latitudes and the influence of La Niña in the tropical Pacific.

  • The U.S. had its fourth warmest winter on record. In this episode of ClimateCast, NOAA’s Deke Arndt recaps the 2011-2012 winter.
     

  • On December 1, NOAA released its annual Arctic Report Card. Like a yearly check-up at the doctor's office, the report summarizes conditions in the Arctic atmosphere, ocean, and on land.

  • During spring 2011, the Northern Great Plains experienced record flooding. This video explains how a La Niña climate pattern helped set the stage for this extreme event.

  • Pietro Ceccato describes the role satellites play in monitoring vegetation health, rainfall, and soil moisture in drought-stricken places in East Africa.
     

  • Dr. Gerry Bell, the Lead Seasonal Hurricane Forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, talks about the 2010 Revised Hurricane Outlook and the importance of coastal residents having a preparedness plan.
     

  • Starting in July, when you hear that a day was hotter, or colder, or rainier than normal, that normal will be a little different from what it was in the past.

  • As of 2013, the warming effect of long-lived greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere has increased by approximately 34% since 1990.

  • The tornado outbreak across the southern United States in late April 2011 was deadly, devastating, and record breaking. NOAA's "CSI" team is investigating the possible connections between global warming, natural climate patterns, and tornadoes.

  • Arctic sea ice extent for the month of March was the second lowest in the satellite record. Ice cover at winter maximum continues to be dominated by young, thin ice.

  • The arrival of Hurricane Isabel in 2003 flooded the retirement home of a Chesapeake Bay couple. With sea level around the Chesapeake Bay rising faster than the global average, how are coastal residents planning for change?

  • The ocean is the largest solar energy collector on Earth. More than 90 percent of the warming that has happened on Earth over the past 50 years has occurred in the ocean. Not all of that heating is detectable at the surface because currents move some of the heat to deeper layers of water, where it can "hide" for years or decades.

  • Present since the last ice age, most of the world’s glaciers are now shrinking or disappearing altogether as the climate gets warmer. 

  • Records from the last five decades show that on average, spring snow is disappearing earlier in the year than it did in the past. 

  • Computer climate models help scientists such as Dave Dewitt predict the life cycles of individual El Niño or La Niña events and their effects on weather patterns throughout the world. While the accuracy of these models continues to improve, they still have limitations.
     

  • This report presents a comprehensive appraisal of Earth’s climate in 2009, and establishes the last decade as the warmest on record. Reduced extent of Arctic sea ice, glacier volume, and snow cover reflect the effects of rising global temperature.
     

  • In 1938, an unexpected Category 3 hurricane plowed across Long Island and into Connecticut. Could history repeat itself?

  • How is climate change affecting bird migration patterns? Birdwatchers across the country and around the world are contributing their time, both in the field and online, to answer that question.

  • Curiosity is a cruel master, says Dave Bertelsen. Over the past 25 years, he has hiked over 12,000 miles through a desert canyon, just to see what was blooming. He found a few surprises along the way.

  • NOAA researchers have built a "time machine" for weather that provides detailed snapshots of the global atmosphere from 1891 to 2008. The system's ability to "hindcast" past weather events is emerging as a powerful new tool for detecting and quantifying climate change.

  • Has global warming stopped? That's what some people claim, based on global temperatures recorded since 1998. But, scientists say, not setting a new record high temperature each year doesn't mean the globe is cooling.

  • Flooding in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    In NOAA's version of CSI, Marty Hoerling leads a group of climate and weather researchers who investigate killer climate patterns—heat waves, tornadoes, and floods—to figure out what may have triggered them.

  •  The Sun is the main source of power for the Earth's climate machine. Space-based measurements, begun in 1978, indicate Earth receives an average of 1,361 W/m<sup>2</sup> of incoming sunlight, and the amount varies by about one-tenth of a percent over the course of the 11-year solar cycle. 

  • Temperatures measured on land and at sea for more than a century show that Earth's globally averaged surface temperature is experiencing a long-term warming trend.

  • El Ni&ntilde;o and La Ni&ntilde;a conditions occur when abnormally warm or cool waters accumulate in tropical latitudes of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. The Oceanic Nino Index is the tool NOAA scienitsts use to watch for these temperature changes. 

  • Minimum sea ice extent observed by satellites each September has decreased by 13.7 percent per decade since the late 1970s. The seven lowest extents all occurred since 2007.

  • Human activities, mainly burning fossil fuels, are increasing the concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, amplifying the natural greenhouse effect.