It’s only when we “zoom out” to the planet-wide scale that trends in surface temperature are obvious: despite a few, rare areas experiencing cooling, the vast majority of places across the globe are warming.
(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.
If mid-century projections of sea level rise prove true for New York City, four times as many people may be living in the 100-year floodplain than were previously estimated based only on observed changes.
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.
According to the 2009 National Climate Assessment, heavy downpours have increased in frequency and intensity during the last 50 years. Models predict that downpours will become still more more frequent and intense as greenhouse gas emissions and the planet’s temperature continue to rise.
Although you might have a hard time convincing residents of the eastern United States, Scandinavia, and Russia (outside of Sochi, anyway), January’s global average surface temperature balanced out as the fourth warmest in the historical record.
The most likely explanation for the lack of significant warming at the Earth’s surface in the past decade or so is that natural climate cycles caused shifts in ocean circulation patterns that moved some excess heat into the deep ocean.
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.
Many areas of the world experienced higher-than-average monthly temperatures according to the latest statistics from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. The average global temperature for May 2013 tied with 1998 and 2005 as the third warmest May since record keeping began in 1880.