El Niño and La Niña Redefined

By: Saturday February 9, 2013 12:30 pm

Just a few short weeks after NOAA operations wrote that 2012′s La Niña was the warmest on records, NOAA researchers announced they recalculated historical La Niñas because of warming global temperatures. NOAA confirmed something that occurred to me while I was writing that post: eventually, historical El Niños will be cooler than future La Niñas.

 

NASA & NOAA: 2012 Was in Top-10 Warmest Years for Globe On Record

By: Tuesday January 22, 2013 6:30 pm

According to data released by NASA and NOAA this week, 2012 was the 9th or 10th warmest year (respectively) globally on record. NASA’s analysis produced the 9th warmest year in its dataset; NOAA recorded the 10th warmest year in its dataset. The two agencies have slightly different analysis techniques, which in this case resulted in not only different temperature anomaly values but somewhat different rankings as well.

State of Polar Sea Ice – January 2013: Arctic Below and Antarctic Above Normal

By: Tuesday January 15, 2013 3:56 pm

Global polar sea ice area in early January 2013 remains below climatological normal conditions (1979-2009), but has improved in the past month. Antarctic sea ice loss is occurring at a climatological normal rate. Arctic sea ice gain is slightly more rapid than normal, but we should expect this given the record low extent that occurred in September 2012. Polar sea ice recovered from an extensive deficit of -2.5 million sq. km. area late last year to a -500,000 sq. km. anomaly within the last week.

State of the Poles – Mid-September 2012: Record Low Arctic Ice Extent; Antarctic Ice Above Climatological Normal

By: Sunday September 23, 2012 5:00 pm

The state of global polar sea ice area in mid-September 2012 remains significantly below climatological normal conditions (1979-2009). Arctic sea ice loss is solely responsible for this condition. In fact, if Antarctic sea ice were closer to its normal value, the global area would be much lower than it is today. Arctic sea ice melted quickly in August and the first half of September because it was thinner than usual and winds helped push ice out of the Arctic where it could melt at lower latitudes; Antarctic sea ice has refrozen at a faster than normal rate during the austral winter. Polar sea ice recovered from an extensive deficit of -2 million sq. km. area late last year to a +750,000 sq. km. anomaly in March 2012 before falling back to a -2.2 million sq. km. deficit earlier this month.

NASA & NOAA: July 2012 Was 12th, 4th Warmest on Record

By: Wednesday August 15, 2012 6:30 pm

According to data released by NASA and NOAA this week, July 2012 was the 12th and 4th warmest July (respectively) globally on record. NASA’s analysis produced the 12th warmest July in its dataset; NOAA recorded the 4th warmest July in its dataset. The two agencies have slightly different analysis techniques, which in this case resulted in not only different temperature anomaly values but rather different rankings as well.

2012 U.S. Drought: Impacts & Historical Context

By: Wednesday July 18, 2012 5:18 pm

The National Climate Data Center, in its summary of drought conditions as of the end of June 2012, reported that 55% of the contiguous U.S. was experiencing moderate to extreme drought. This is the largest percentage since December 1956 when 58% of the U.S. experienced similar conditions. The Palmer Drought Index, whose data base goes back 112 years, is relied upon for drought comparisons before 2000.

7th Day of 100+F Heat In Denver, CO; June 2012 Hottest On Record For CO

By: Tuesday July 3, 2012 6:45 am

Climate change, massive fires, droughts, record temperatures. It’s official: June 2012 was the hottest June on record in Denver, CO (dating back to 1872) with an average temperature of 75F, 7.6F above normal! Yesterday’s high of 101F added to the total number of days of 100F+ temperatures: to date, there are now 7. Last week, there were 5 days in a row of 100F+ heat, matching the all-time record for Denver.

Research: Observations Decisively Indicate External Forcing Cause of Arctic Sea Ice Loss

By: Monday May 21, 2012 7:15 pm

It unfortunately takes a little bit of time, but climate skeptics’ claims that observations don’t support climate model projections aren’t supported as more observations are made of the Earth system. The latest instance: instead of using just climate projections, a pair of researchers have used observations to try to determine whether internal variability (natural year-to-year changes), self-acceleration (positive feedback loops), or external forcing were most the likely drivers of observed sea-ice retreat in the past 30 years.

The takeaway from this research: external forcing (CO2) is shown to be most responsible. This is a good case of how science works: investigate multiple potential causal factors and let the observed data speak for themselves.

State of Polar Sea Ice: Arctic Near Record Low; Antarctic Normal

By: Tuesday June 7, 2011 1:56 pm

Sea ice in the Arctic continues to track significantly below average, with the 3rd lowest readings for the month in the modern era. Antarctic sea ice recovered somewhat more quickly to normal conditions than was the case the month before. Global sea ice area has therefore remained near historical lows for an extended period of time this year. Within the last month, global sea ice area has finally improved from the 1 million sq. km. deficit from climatological conditions that characterized the first four months of 2011. To help put this in context, only 2006 and 2007 saw similar conditions. In 2007, the Arctic (and global) sea ice area fell to its lowest extent in modern history.

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