State of the Climate

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The State of the Climate is an annual report that is primarily led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Climatic Data Center (NOAA/NCDC), located in Asheville, North Carolina, but whose leadership and authorship spans roughly 100 institutions in about 50 countries.



The report appears as a supplement to a summer issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS), a publication of the American Meteorological Society. The State of the Climate report, known until 2001 as the Climate Assessment, is an international effort.

State of the Climate in 2010

The 2010 edition (released June 28, 2011) contained submissions from 368 authors from 45 nations and covered 41 climate indicators. [1] The 2010 edition contained a highlights document that summarized the major findings of the report. [2] The State of the Climate summarizes the global and regional climate of the preceding calendar year and places it into a historical context. In addition, notable climatic anomalies and events are discussed.

Major findings in the 2010 report were:

The 2010 issue included a sidebar detailing the multiple lines of evidence (major variables besides global temperature) consistent with the conclusion of a warming planet. An image associated with this sidebar has been recreated many times since, as the 11 (or ten) indicators of a warming planet.

State of the Climate in 2011

The 2011 edition contained submissions from 376 authors from 46 nations/territories. The La Nina event of that year was a major focus of the report. The cover featured East African women walking to retrieve water in a dust storm. East African drought is not atypical of La Nina episodes.

State of the Climate in 2012

The 2012 edition contained submissions from 394 authors from 54 nations/territories. Its cover featured an Arctic scene, reflecting major events in that region during the year.

Major findings in the 2012 report were: [3]

State of the Climate in 2013

The 2013 edition has been released on July 17, 2014. [4] The American Meteorological Society published a supplemental paper online. [5] The report was compiled by 425 scientists from 57 countries. [6]

Major findings in the 2013 report include:

State of the Climate in 2014

A report was released for the year of 2014. [7]

State of the Climate in 2015

A report was released in August 2016 for 2015. [8] [9]

2015 was the hottest year to date. Greenhouse gases were highest on record. Global upper ocean heat content was highest on record. Global sea level was highest on record. [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]

State of the Climate in 2016

Current as of report, 2016 surpassed 2015 as the warmest year in 137 years of recordkeeping. [15]

Concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth's atmosphere surged by a record amount in 2016, according to the World Meteorological Organization. [16]

State of the Climate in 2017

2017 was recorded as the third warmest year on record. [17] 2017 was the warmest non-El Niño year in the instrumental record. [18]

State of the Climate in 2018

All but one of the monthly global ocean and land temperature averages of 2018 ranked among the five warmest for their respective months, marking the year the fourth warmest year in NOAA's 139-year record. [19]

State of the Climate in 2019


See also

Related Research Articles

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Extreme weather Unusual, severe or unseasonal weather

Extreme weather or extreme climate events includes unexpected, unusual, severe, or unseasonal weather; weather at the extremes of the historical distribution—the range that has been seen in the past. Often, extreme events are based on a location's recorded weather history and defined as lying in the most unusual ten percent. The main types of extreme weather include heat waves, cold waves and tropical cyclones. The effects of extreme weather events are seen in rising economic costs, loss of human lives, droughts, floods, landslides and changes in ecosystems.

Instrumental temperature record In situ measurements that provide the temperature of Earths climate system

The instrumental temperature record is a record of temperatures within Earth's climate based on direct, instrument-based measurements of air temperature and ocean temperature. Instrumental temperature records are distinguished from indirect reconstructions using climate proxy data such as from tree rings and ocean sediments. Instrument-based data are collected from thousands of meteorological stations, buoys and ships around the globe. Whilst many heavily-populated areas have a high density of measurements, observations are more widely spread in sparsely populated areas such as polar regions and deserts, as well as over many parts of Africa and South America. Measurements were historically made using mercury or alcohol thermometers which were read manually, but are increasingly made using electronic sensors which transmit data automatically. The longest-running temperature record is the Central England temperature data series, which starts in 1659. The longest-running quasi-global records start in 1850.

Thomas R. Karl is the former director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). He joined the National Climate Centre in 1980, and when that became the National Climatic Data Center, he continued as a researcher, becoming a Lab Chief, Senior Scientist and ultimately Director of the Center. When it merged with other centers to become NCEI in 2015, he became its first director. He retired on 4 August 2016.

Climate of Sydney Overview of the climate of Sydney

The climate of Sydney is humid subtropical, shifting from mild and cool in winter to warm and hot in the summer, with no extreme seasonal differences as the weather is moderated by proximity to the ocean, although more contrasting temperatures are recorded in the inland western suburbs. Despite the fact that there is no distinct dry or wet season, rainfall peaks in the first few months of the year and is at its lowest just around the middle of the year, though precipitation can be erratic throughout the year. Precipitation varies across the region, with areas adjacent to the coast being the wettest. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Sydney falls in the temperate climate zone which has warm to hot summers and no dry season. Sydney's plant hardiness zone ranges from zone 11a to 9b throughout the metropolitan area.

Climate of California Overview of the climate of the U.S. state of California

The climate of California varies widely from hot desert to alpine tundra, depending on latitude, elevation, and proximity to the coast. California's coastal regions, the Sierra Nevada foothills, and much of the Central Valley have a Mediterranean climate, with warmer, drier weather in summer and cooler, wetter weather in winter. The influence of the ocean generally moderates temperature extremes, creating warmer winters and substantially cooler summers in coastal areas.

Ocean heat content Thermal energy stored in ocean water

In oceanography and climatology, ocean heat content (OHC) is a term for the energy absorbed by the ocean, where it is stored for indefinite time periods as internal energy or enthalpy. The rise in OHC accounts for over 90% of Earth’s excess thermal energy from global heating between 1971 and 2018. It is extremely likely that anthropogenic climate change was the main driver of the OHC increase over this period. About one third of the added energy has propagated to depths below 700 meters as of 2020.

Climate change in Australia Impacts of climate change on Australia and responses

Climate change in Australia has been a critical issue since the beginning of the 21st century. Australia is becoming hotter and more prone to extreme heat, bushfires, droughts, floods, and longer fire seasons because of climate change. Since the beginning of the 20th century, Australia has experienced an increase of over 1.4 °C in average annual temperatures, with warming occurring at twice the rate over the past 50 years as in the previous 50 years. Recent climate events such as extremely high temperatures and widespread drought have focused government and public attention on the effects of climate change in Australia. Rainfall in southwestern Australia has decreased by 10–20% since the 1970s, while southeastern Australia has also experienced a moderate decline since the 1990s. Rainfall is expected to become heavier and more infrequent, as well as more common in summer rather than in winter. Water sources in the southeastern areas of Australia have depleted due to the increasing population in urban areas coupled with a persistent prolonged drought.

Climate change in the United States Emissions, impacts and responses of the United States related to climate change

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Arctic Report Card

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Arctic Report Card presents annually updated, peer-reviewed information on recent observations of environmental conditions in the Arctic relative to historical records. The annual updates are released during a press conference at the December American Geophysical Society meeting. This annual report which measures the changes in climate can be used to predict the driving shifts in animal habitats and the local arctic ecosystem. The report categorised into three groups: Vital signs, Other Indicators and Frostbite.

Global surface temperature Average temperature of the Earths surface

In earth science, global surface temperature is calculated by averaging the temperature at the surface of the sea and air temperature over land. In technical writing, scientists call long-term changes in GST global cooling or global warming. Periods of both have happened regularly throughout earth's history.

1994 North American cold wave

The 1994 North American cold wave occurred over the midwestern United States, eastern United States, and southern Canada during January 1994. Two notable cold air events occurred from January 18–19 and from January 21–22. There were 67 minimum temperature records set on January 19. Indiana and Kentucky both set state records on January 19. The United States experienced its coldest temperature month since February 1934, although much of the West experienced mild temperatures. Washington and Idaho experienced the second-warmest January recorded in the previous 100 years.

Global warming hiatus Period of little Earth temperature change

A global warming hiatus, also sometimes referred to as a global warming pause or a global warming slowdown, is a period of relatively little change in globally averaged surface temperatures. In the current episode of global warming many such 15-year periods appear in the surface temperature record, along with robust evidence of the long-term warming trend. Such a "hiatus" is shorter than the 30-year periods that climate is classically averaged over.

The 2010–2012 La Niña event was one of the strongest on record. It caused Australia to experience its wettest September on record in 2010, and its second-wettest year on record in 2010. It also led to an unusual intensification of the Leeuwin Current, the 2010 Pakistan floods, the 2010–2011 Queensland floods, and the 2011 East Africa drought. It also helped keep the average global temperature below recent trends, leading to 2011 tying with 1997 for the 14th-warmest year on record. This La Niña event also led to above-average tropical cyclone activity in the North Atlantic Ocean during the 2010, 2011, and 2012 hurricane seasons.

2014–2016 El Niño event

The 2014–2016 El Niño was a warming of the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean that resulted in unusually warm waters developing between the coast of South America and the International Date Line. These unusually warm waters influenced the world's weather in a number of ways, which in turn significantly affected various parts of the world. These included drought conditions in Venezuela, Australia and a number of Pacific islands while significant flooding was also recorded. During the event, more tropical cyclones than normal occurred within the Pacific Ocean, while fewer than normal occurred in the Atlantic Ocean.

The 2006–08 Southeastern United States drought was a crippling drought that struck the southeast of the U.S. Several reasons, including an unusually strong Bermuda high pressure and La Niña in the eastern Pacific Ocean were responsible for the drought. 2007 was particularly dry across the region, with rivers and lakes dropping to record-low levels and in some areas.

Warming stripes Data visualization graphics of long-term trends of annual temperature anomalies

Warming stripes are data visualization graphics that use a series of coloured stripes chronologically ordered to visually portray long-term temperature trends. Warming stripes reflect a "minimalist" style, conceived to use colour alone to avoid technical distractions and intuitively convey global warming trends to non-scientists.

This article documents notable events, research findings, effects, and responses related to global warming and climate change during the year 2020.

This article documents notable events, research findings, effects, and responses related to global warming and climate change during the year 2019.


  1. State of the Climate in 2010
  2. BAMS State of the Climate - 2010
  3. "State of the Climate in 2012 (Briefing slides)" (PDF).
  4. 1 2 Sid Perkins. "Report: Climate changing more rapidly than at any point on record". AAAS.
  5. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. "State of the Climate in 2013". American Meteorological Society.
  6. Laura Barron-Lopez (17 July 2014). "NOAA: Climate change is getting worse". The Hill.
  7. Arndt, Deke (July 15, 2015). "2014 State of the Climate: Author Q&A". . Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  8. Lindsey, Rebecca (August 2, 2016). "2015 State of the Climate: Highlights". . Retrieved August 12, 2016. Global carbon dioxide levels hit a new high in 2015, and the observatory at Mauna Loa recorded the largest one-year jump in annual average concentrations.
  9. Milman, Oliver (August 2, 2016). "Environmental records shattered as climate change 'plays out before us'; Temperatures, sea levels and carbon dioxide all hit milestones amid extreme weather in 2015, major international 'state of the climate' report finds". The Guardian . Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  10. Berwyn, Bob (August 2, 2016). "Latest Climate Report: Heat, More Heat and Signs of Worse to Come; 2015 featured record warm temperatures on every inhabited continent as ice melted and the seas rose at alarming rates". InsideClimate News . Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  11. Samenow, Jason (August 2, 2016). "The 10 most startling facts about climate in 2015 — the warmest year on record". Washington Post . Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  12. Ranosa, Ted (August 4, 2016). "Climate Scientists Say 2015 Set Record Highs For Global Heat, Sea Level". Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  13. Braun, David Maxwell (August 3, 2016). "Earth's 'Annual Physical' Lists Symptoms of a Hotter World". National Geographic . Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  14. Graham, Lloyd (August 3, 2016). "2015 was warmest on record, set a new high in sea levels, says NOAA report". The Australian . Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  15. "2016 State of the Climate: Highlights". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration . Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  16. "Record surge in atmospheric CO2 seen in 2016". BBC News. 30 October 2017.
  17. "Global Climate Report - Annual 2017 | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)".
  18. "2017 State of the Climate: Highlights". Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  19. "Global Climate Report - Annual 2018". . Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  20. Global Climate Report - Annual 2019 National Centers for Environmental Information