Winter storms in February improved drought in the Southeast and Midwest, but well below average precipitation in parts of the West in recent months has worsened drought in other places.

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.

In summer of 2012, warm and dry climate climate conditions combined with weather to spark one of the West's largest wildfire seasons yet.

Since the mid-1950s, easy-to-serve, portion-controlled fish sticks have regularly found their way onto U.S. dinner tables and into school lunches. The past decade, however, has given fishermen and scientists a preview of the challenges they may face in keeping fish sticks on the menu as the planet gets warmer.

Kristin Laidre, a marine mammal biologist, has taken more than thirty trips to the Arctic, many of them to study the mysterious narwhal. Although the narwhal has appeared in stories throughout history, scientists are just beginning to understand this quirky creature with a fierce survival instinct. But in recent years, a series of unusual events led Laidre to wonder if narwhals are being caught off guard by changes in their unforgiving environment…

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