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.
Working with private companies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency uses precipitation data from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center as part of an insurance program for ranchers and those who grow hay or other livestock forage. This video describes how it works.
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.
ANIMATION: The globally averaged temperature for 2013 tied as the fourth warmest year since record keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA scientists. It was the 37th consecutive year with a global temperature above the 20th-century average. This animation starts with the 2013 difference from average temperature and continues through monthly temperature anomaliies for January-December.
Models project that extreme dust events combined with global warming could advance the spring thaw in the mountains of the Upper Colorado River Basin by as many as 6 weeks by 2050. The earlier disappearance of snow could amplify water disputes, extend the fire season, and stress aquatic ecosystems.
Nearly ten percent of U.S. watersheds are living beyond their means when it comes to their water supply. For nearly half the country, water stress is projected to worsen by mid-century because of climate change, according to a recent NOAA-funded analysis.
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.