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  • 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.

  • Jeff Privette describes the challenges of using satellites that people designed for observing changes in the weather from day to day to study changes in climate from decade to decade.

  • Anthony Arguez, Normals Program Manager at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center explains what scientists mean when they compare current weather conditions to “normal.”

  • The lead character in the 2011 climate story was La Niña—the cool phase of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation—which chilled the central and eastern tropical Pacific at both

  • In September 2011, Arctic sea ice reached its second-lowest minimum extent in the satellite record.

  • Check the fine print on many cans of hairspray or shaving cream these days, and you’ll probably find a reassurance that the product you are holding contains “No CFCs or chemicals known

  • In 2011, Earth’s atmosphere was cooler and drier than it had been the previous year, but it was more humid than the long-term average.

  • In 2011, La Niña and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation cooled parts of the Pacific Ocean, but unusually warm temperatures predominated elsewhere.

  • In 2011, annual snow cover extent over Northern Hemisphere continents (including the Greenland ice sheet) averaged 24.7 million square kilometers, which is 0.3 million square kilometers less than the long-term average.

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