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.
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.
NOAA's Climate Scene Investigators analyzed why the mid-Atlantic region had record-setting snowstorms this winter. The team looked for but found no human "fingerprints" on the severe weather. Instead, they fingered two naturally occurring climate patterns as co-conspirators in the case.
Global climate models project that near the end of the 21st century, average surface temperature over most of Earth’s surface will be several degrees warmer than today, mainly due to rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
This classroom resource is a combination of 3 visualizations and accompanying text that illustrate how 3 key natural phenomena - cyclical changes in solar energy output, major volcanic eruptions over the last century, and El Nino/Nina cycles - are insufficient to explain recent global warming.