On any given day or any given month, somebody somewhere– maybe even where you live– experiences colder-than-average temperature, even though the globe as a whole is warmer than average.

Much colder-than-average temperature during March and a strongly negative Arctic Oscillation Index reminded people in the United States how important this index is to our own climate conditions.

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 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.

The lead character in the 2011 climate story was La Niña—the cool phase of the El Ni

Spring storms across Europe and the Mediterranean Sea finally swept away a high pressure system that had been fostering increasingly dry conditions over the Horn of Africa in early 2011.

Pages