Local is Everything: Climate Divisions Reveal Your Story
Spring 2013 has brought something fairly unusual in recent years—colder-than-average temperature for the nation as a whole. NOAA’s Deke Arndt talks about how spring temperatures in three U.S. climate divisions compare to the local long-term trend.
To escape drought, slow and steady wins the race
During late winter, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas received sorely needed rain which helped reduce short-term impacts, like wildfire and dry topsoil. But it has taken months to develop deep and severe drought in the region, and a few wet weeks won’t erase that situation. It can take months of ideal conditions to bring soil, rivers, and vegetation back to health.
Local Is Not Global: Pockets of Cold in a Warming World
On any given day or any given month, somebody somewhere experiences colder-than-average temperature, even though the globe as a whole is warmer than average. We know this through climate monitoring, which entails measuring temperature on land and across the ocean.
March: Out Like a Lion
Low pressure differences between the Arctic and mid-latitutde regions define the negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation and often bring cold temperature to North America, Europe, or northern Asia. Much colder-than-average temperature during March and a strongly negative Arctic Oscillation Index reminded people in the United States how important this index is to our own climate conditions. A year ago, the positive phase of the oscillation was in play during March, and conversely warmer-than-average temperature blanketed the United States.
Spring 2013: Little Relief from Drought
The big story for the upcoming spring is the likelihood that drought will continue across large parts of the south-central and southwestern United States, and even expand into California and eastern Texas. Some of these areas have been experiencing drought for more than a year, and the latest 3-month outlook from the Climate Prediction Center offers little hope for relief.
Extreme Events of 2012: Global to Local Responses
The entire Northern Hemisphere was warm during 2012. Drought affected agricultural regions in North America, Europe, eastern Russia, the Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. These warm conditions impacted grain yields, water supplies, and heat-related illness. Global food prices rose by 10 percent during July. Learning how our neighbors around the world cope with and adapt to extreme events can help us make better decisions, become more resilient, and be “climate smart.”
Extreme Events of 2012
Drought, cold, and massive storms were among the devastating climate-related events that struck the United States in 2012. These events were incredibly destructive and disruptive for people across the country. A better understanding of the relationship between climate and extreme weather is challenging, but it’s important, and it will help our nation become even more “climate smart.”
The Pushy Pacific: Variability and Change in Global Temperature
When the Pacific Ocean warms and cools with El Niño and La Niña, global temperatures rise and fall. Because there was a La Niña event in the early part of this year, the global surface temperature for 2012 won’t break the high temperature record. However, the odds are that this will be the warmest of the La Niña years in the global climate record.
Water Waning into Winter
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.”
Resilience and Energy: Coastal Management Ensures Supply
Port Fourchon sits on the very edge of the country, all the better for vessels shuttling supplies to and from deepwater oil platforms across miles and miles of ocean. Keeping it open is a big deal because the port services 90 percent of all deepwater activity in the Gulf of Mexico. Port Director Chett Chiasson tours the harbor while discussing the importance of preparedness, adaptation, and resilience.