The Story for Spring: Drought Relief Not Likely
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center released its Spring Outlook on March 21. The big story for the upcoming spring? Relief for many drought-stricken areas of the United States is not likely.
In Watching for El Niño and La Niña, NOAA Adapts to Global Warming
As the whole ocean gets warmer, NOAA scientists must redefine what they consider “average” temperature in the central tropical Pacific, where they keep watch for El Niño and La Niña.
Drought Impacts Continue to Pile Up
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, an estimated 58 percent of the contiguous United States was in some level of drought as of January 29, with an additional 12 percent in the “Abnormally dry” category.
Talking about the Arctic with NOAA Administrator Lubchenco
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.
2012 Arctic Report Card
The central Arctic was not as unusually warm in 2012 as it has been in many years this decade, and yet new records were set for sea ice extent, terrestrial snow extent, melting at the surface of the Greenland ice sheet, and permafrost temperature. According to the 2012 Arctic Report Card, these converging indicators “provide strong evidence of the momentum that has developed in the Arctic environmental system due to the impacts of a persistent warming trend that began over 30 years ago.”
Melt pond “skylights” enable massive under-ice bloom in Arctic
Shallow melt ponds on the surface of consolidated sea ice act as skylights that promote massive under-ice phytoplankton blooms. These under-ice blooms may boost estimates of Arctic phytoplankton productivity by a factor of 10.
Less glitter: Greenland Ice Sheet continued to darken in summer 2012
Melt ponds, snow loss, and other warming-induced changes are making the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet far less reflective in the summer than it was even a decade ago. The darker ice surface absorbs more sunlight than it once did, accelerating warming and melting.
Summer 2012 brought record-breaking melt to Greenland
The summer of 2012 brought Greenland far more extensive melt than anything observed in the satellite record: in July 2012, surface melt extended over nearly the entire ice sheet. The standardized melt index was nearly double the previous record.
Thriving on a Sinking Landscape
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.
The costs of drought on the Rio Grande
Pecan and chili growers along the Lower Rio Grande can tap groundwater during droughts, but the aquifer water is salty and harmful to the soil over the long term.