From soybeans and sunflowers in North Dakota to cotton and winter wheat in Texas, large stretches of croplands in the U.S. Great Plains rely exclusively on rain. Those croplands are likely to face longer dry spells by mid-century.
Some of the chemicals that replaced ozone-harming CFCs are long-lived greenhouse gases. At NOAA's lab in Boulder, Colorado, chemist Steve Montzka leads the effort to monitor the concentration of CFC-substitutes and their potential impact on global warming.
For 800,000 years before the twentieth century, carbon dioxide levels in Earth’s atmosphere never exceeded 300 parts per million. In March 2015, the monthly average went above 400 ppm for the first time.
Charles Keeling's measurements of carbon dioxide from the summit of Mauna Loa have become a landmark for mankind’s impact on the Earth. In this video, NOAA scientists talk about the history of the observations that allow us to connect Earth's warming climate to the greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.
In the Northeast, the amount of rain that came down in very heavy events increased by more than 70 percent between 1958 and 2010. A new law in New York requires state agencies to start thinking ahead about increases in extreme rain and other climate change risks.
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.
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.