Includes sea level rise; extreme weather; changes to ecosystems, plants and animals; melting ice and permafrost; ocean wamring; impacts to water resources, agriculture, public health and national security
Since 2002, Octobers in Barrow, Alaska—America's northernmost town—are regularly near the warmest on record, thanks to the retreat of sea ice. The warming hinders traditional hunting activities, makes the town more vulnerable to storm surge flooding, and thaws the frozen ground to greater depths, which destabilizes roads, house foundations, and traditional underground freezers.
Maps of changes in the saltiness of the surface waters of the ocean over time can reveal natural climate cycles, human-caused changes in evaporation and rainfall, and variation in the strength and location of currents. This map of changes in surface salinity between 2004 and 2012 provides clues to how climate variabiity and change have influenced the global water cycle in the past decade.
The Spring Outlook encompasses temperature, precipitation, drought, and flooding expectations for the coming three months, and Mike Halpert, Acting Director of the Climate Prediction Center, discusses the outlook and its implications.
For the record books: A review of the ten most significant or unusual global climate or weather events of 2011, as ranked by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in its yearly review of the Earth’s climate.
It’s natural to associate drought with heat and with summer, but drought also impacts us during winter months. Winter wheat yields are declining, and the Mississippi River is approaching an all-time low. Understanding drought conditions and how they are affecting us is part of being “climate smart.”
It may seem remote from our everyday lives, but the Arctic exerts a powerful influence on the rest of the planet. From rising sea level, to U.S. and European weather, to bird migrations, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco describes how Arctic climate change can influence the rest of the planet.
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.
On a yearly basis, Arctic temperatures are strongly influenced by natural climate patterns, including the Arctic and North Atlantic Oscillations. Over the span of a decade, though, Arctic amplification of climate change is evident: no part of the Arctic was cooler than the long-term average.
At the edge of southern Louisiana sits Port Fourchon—the hub through which 20 percent of our nation’s oil and gas supplies are distributed to the rest of the country. The only road leading to and from this major port is the Louisana-1 Highway. A drive down the LA-1 through a vulnerable but vibrant coastal landscape shows what is at stake if ‘America’s longest main street’ fails to stay above water.