2011 - Annual State of the Climate Report

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Thomas R. Karl, L.H.D., Director, NOAAs National Climatic Data Center, and Chair of the Subcommittee on Global Change Research Jessica Blunden, PhD, Scientist, ERT Inc., Climate Monitoring Branch, NOAAs National Climatic Data Center Kate Willett, PhD, Senior Scientist, Met Office Hadley Centre Martin Jeffries, PhD, Research Professor of Geophysics, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks Tom Peterson, PhD, Principal Scientist, NOAAs National Climatic Data Center, and President of the World Meteorological Organization Commission for Climatology Peter Stott, PhD, Senior Scientist, Met Office Hadley Centre

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  • Thomas R. Karl, L.H.D., Director, NOAAs National Climatic Data Center, and Chair of the Subcommittee on Global Change Research

    Jessica Blunden, PhD, Scientist, ERT Inc., Climate Monitoring Branch, NOAAs National Climatic Data Center

    Kate Willett, PhD, Senior Scientist, Met Office Hadley Centre

    Martin Jeffries, PhD, Research Professor of Geophysics, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks

    Tom Peterson, PhD, Principal Scientist, NOAAs National Climatic Data Center, and President of the World Meteorological Organization Commission for Climatology

    Peter Stott, PhD, Senior Scientist, Met Office Hadley Centre

  • July2012

    22nd annualStateoftheClimatereport Surveysthechangingstateandthebehaviorofthephysicalclimatesystem

    Nowtracks43globalscaleclimateindicators

    378authorsfrom48countries17editorson3continents

    2StateoftheClimatein2011

  • July2012

    Reportaddednewindicatorstobetterunderstandchangesintheglobalclimate

    Samebottomlineconclusion climatecontinuestochange

    3StateoftheClimatein2011

  • July2012 StateoftheClimatein2011

    LaNiacontributedtoweatherandclimatepatternsaroundtheworldin2011

    4

    Drought in East Africa affected millions of people

    Major flooding occurred in Queensland, Australia

    Oceanic Nio Index

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  • July2012

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    StateoftheClimatein2011 5

    Thailand flooding

    Joplin Missouri USA Tornado

    Manyextremeeventsoccurredatregionalandlocallevels

    LaNiacontributedtosomebutnotalloftheseevents SouthernUnitedStatesandnorthernMexico:

    Historicdrought AboveaverageNorthAtlantichurricaneseason BelowaverageEasternNorthPacificseason Brazil:Devastatingfloods Thailand:Worstfloodssince1942 UnitedStates:Recorddestructionbytornadoes NorthKorea:Longestcoldsnapsince1945 CentralandsouthernEurope:Worstheatwave

    since2003 Australia:Struckbymostpowerfultropical

    cyclone,Yasi,since1918

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  • July2012

    CarbondioxideCarbondioxide

    6

    Globallyaveragedcarbondioxideconcentrationsintheatmospheresurpassed390partspermillionforthefirsttime.

    Fourdatasetsshowglobalsurfacetemperaturescontinuetorise;temperaturehasincreasedatarateofabout0.31F perdecadesince1980.

    Globalaveragesurfacetemperaturewashigherthanthe1981to2010average

    StateoftheClimatein2011

    Globallyaveragedheatstoredinthetop2,300feetoftheoceanswasthehighestsincerecordsbeganin1993.

    Carbon dioxide Global TemperatureUpper Ocean Heat Content

  • July2012 7StateoftheClimatein2011

    2011: La Nia in the eastern equatorial Pacific kept global surface temperatures cooler during the year compared with the record warmth of 2010, but still remained above the average of the past 30 years

    Long-term trend: Temperatures at the Earths surface and lower atmosphere continue to warm, while the stratosphere continues to cool

  • July2012 NOAAsNationalClimaticDataCenter

    In2011,oceansweresaltierinalreadydrierareasandfresherinalreadyrainyareas,indicatinganincreaseintheglobalwatercycle

    8StateoftheClimatein2011

    2011waswetterthanaverageoverlandbutrelativelydryovertheoceans

    The Water Cycle

    Departures from 1992-2010 average over oceans and 1961-1990 average over land (millimeters)

  • July2012 NOAAsNationalClimaticDataCenter 9

    Average temperature over the past decade is warmer than the 19712000 average.

    In March 2011, the lowest ozone concentrations on record led to elevated UV radiation levels at the surface

    StateoftheClimatein2011

    ArcticAmplification:Averagetemperaturehasincreasedbyabout3.6Fsincethemid1960s,morethan2timesfaster thanatlowerlatitudes

    Barrow,Alaskahadrecord86consecutivesummerdayswithminimumtemperaturesatorabovefreezing

    Recordhightemperatureswererecordedat20mbelowthesurfaceatallpermafrostobservatoriesonAlaskas NorthSlope

    Ozone Concentration (Dobson Units)

    Degrees Celsius

  • July2012

    Septemberseaiceextentwas2nd smallestsincethesatelliteerabegan

    Oldice(45years)reachedrecordlow:81%belowaverage

    10

    Greenlandicesheet:Aboveaverageairtemperaturesanddecliningalbedo(reflectivity)causedextrememeltingandmasslossin2011

    March:whenmaximumiceextentoccursSeptember:whenminimumiceextentoccurs

    Sept. 2011

    StateoftheClimatein2011

  • July2012 11

    SeasurfacetemperatureintheBeaufort,Chukchi,EastSiberian,Laptev,andKaraSeaswere2nd warmestonrecord,behindonly2007

    Since1982,tundragreennesshasincreasedby15.5%intheNorthAmericanArcticandby8.2%intheEurasianArctic

    StateoftheClimatein2011

  • July2012

    Longtermtrendsshowthatclimateindicatorsexpectedtoincreaseinawarmingworldarecontinuingtoincreaseandthosethatareexpectedtodecreasearecontinuingtodecrease.

    Theannualglobaltemperaturewascoolerthanin2010,butwasstilloneofthe15warmestyearsonrecord.TheArcticcontinuestowarmfasterthantherestoftheglobe.

    Thereweremanyextremeweatherandclimateeventsaroundtheglobein2011.LaNiacontributedtomany,butnotall,oftheseevents.

    12StateoftheClimatein2011

  • July2012 NOAAsNationalClimaticDataCenter

    Determiningthecausesofextremeeventsisdifficult

    Agoalofthispaperistofosterthegrowthofthescience

    Cannotsayaparticulareventwasorwasnotcausedbyclimatechange

    Canexplainhowtheoddsofsucheventshavechangedinresponsetoglobalwarming

    13StateoftheClimatein2011

  • July2012 Crown copyright Met Office

    Bywidemarginsthehottestanddriestgrowingseasononrecord

    WasassociatedwithLaNiaconditions

    Suchaheatwave isnowabout20timesmorelikelyduringLaNiayearsthaninthe1960s

    StateoftheClimatein2011 14

  • July2012

    Crown copyright Met Office

    TheoddsofthecoldDecember2010temperatureshavehalvedasaresultofhumaninducedclimatechange

    ThewarmNovember2011temperaturesarenowabout60timesmorelikelythaninthe1960s

    15

  • July2012

    Climatechangehasalteredtheoddsofsomeoftheeventsthathaveoccurred

    Somehavebecomemorelikely

    Somehavebecomelesslikely

    Naturalvariabilityalsoplaysanimportantrole

    Wehopethatthisreportwillhelpfosterthegrowthofattributionscience neededtomakeassessmentssuchasthismorecomprehensive

    16StateoftheClimatein2011

    Texas creek bed in droughtFlooding in Australia

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  • July2012

    StateoftheClimatein2011report: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/bamsstateoftheclimate/2011.php

    OnlineReportHighlights: http://www.climatewatch.noaa.gov/article/2012/stateoftheclimatein2011

    highlights

    BAMSarticleonExplainingExtremeEventsof2011fromaClimatePerspective: http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/bamssotc/2011petersonet

    al.pdf

    Slidesfromtodayswebinar: http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/bamssotc/2011/webinar

    briefingslides.pdf

    17StateoftheClimatein2011