Instrumental measurements, proxy data, climate model projections
December 28, 2012
Climate normals are the average values of meteorological parameters -- such as temperature, precipitation, frost/freeze data, and snowfall data -- over 30-year spans. The climate normals data help describe typical climate conditions for a given place and time of year, and are used as a baseline to which current conditions can be compared.
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center provides daily forecast maps of Ultraviolet (UV) Index for 58 U.S. cities, colored coded to their anticipated level of exposure. According to the World Health Organization, prolonged exposure to the sun's UV radiation may result in acute and chronic health effects on our skin, eyes, and immune system.
Drought is one of the most costly natural disasters affecting the United States. The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) helps the nation and North America understand and proactively prepare for drought by providing data and information about the extent and potential impacts of drought and associated risks. The system provides a variety of decision support tools to help people prepare for and mitigate the effects of drought.
This activity introduces students to visualization capabilities available through NASA's Earth Observatory, global map collection, NASA NEO and ImageJ. Using these tools, students build several animations of satellite data that illustrate carbon pathways through the Earth system.
In this video, a team of paleontologists, paleobotanists, soil scientists, and other researchers take to the field in Wyoming's Bighorn Basin to document how the climate, plants, and animals there changed during the Paleocene- Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) when a sudden, enormous influx of carbon flooded the ocean and atmosphere for reasons that are still unclear to scientists. The PTEM is used as an analog to the current warming occurring.
This NASA video explores the relationship between climate and agriculture, including the variability of climate change impacts that may occur in different regions and the effects of population growth and higher demands for food in areas that already struggle to supply food for the people. The video highlights the need for accurate, continuous, and accessible data and computer models from NASA satellites to track and predict the challenges farmers face as they adjust to a changing climate.
This interactive world map shows the impact of a global temperature rise of 4 degrees Celsius on a variety of factors including agriculture, marine life, fires, weather patterns, and health. Hot Spots can be clicked on to get more specific information about the problems in different regions.
In this activity, learners use the STELLA box modeling software to determine Earth's temperature based on incoming solar radiation and outgoing terrestrial radiation. Starting with a simple black body model, the exercise gradually adds complexity by incorporating albedo, then a 1-layer atmosphere, then a 2-layer atmosphere, and finally a complex atmosphere with latent and sensible heat fluxes.
This video provides an overview of how computer models work. It explains the process of data assimilation, which is necessary to ensure that models are tied to reality. The video includes a discussion of weather models using the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS-5) model and climate models using the MERRA (Modern Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications) technique.