From warmer ocean temperatures to longer and more intense droughts and heat waves, climate change is affecting our entire planet. Scientists at NOAA have long worked to track, understand and predict how climate change is progressing and impacting ecosystems, communities and economies.
NOAA and NIST have installed a Doppler lidar instrument to an existing weather station on top of the Department of Commerce’s Herbert Clark Hoover Building in Washington, D.C. to measure wind flow and turbulence in the lowest part of the atmosphere for a research project studying greenhouse gas emissions in the Capitol area.
Massive high-altitude clouds of smoke warmed the Southern Hemisphere's stratospshere by about 1 degree Celsius for six months, and likely contributed to the large and persistent ozone hole that formed over Antarctica during the austral spring.
Launching uncrewed systems to monitor climate and ecosystem changes in the U.S. Arctic, sequencing the genome for endangered marine species, and improving weather forecasts with advances in regional models — these are just a few of NOAA’s scientific achievements in 2020. The newly released 2020 NOAA Science Report highlights the ways these accomplishments — and many more — provide the foundation for vital services that Americans use every day.
The global average carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere surged at the fifth-highest rate in NOAA's 63-year record during 2020. Preliminary estimates of the increase in methane levels indicate it may have been the largest annual jump on record.
Climate change is causing significant impacts on the Great Lakes and the surrounding region. As the largest surface freshwater system in the world, the Great Lakes have an enormous impact, seen and unseen, on the more than 34 million people who live within their collective basin. Because of their unique response to environmental conditions, Earth’s large lakes are considered by scientists as key sentinels of climate change. A long-term study published in Nature Communications today from NOAA reveals a warming trend in deepwater temperatures that foreshadows profound ecological change on the horizon. While less visible than the loss in ice cover and increasing lake surface temperatures, this latest index of climate change adds to the growing evidence of climate change impacts in the region.
For Sea Grant, resilience is more than a buzzword. Sea Grant is involved in every aspect of climate resilience planning, from start to finish.
In late February, as the Southern Plains and Gulf Coast suffered through an unusually strong blast of wintry weather, weather talk turned to the polar vortex and the possibility that the extreme cold was yet another example of weather-gone-wild due to global warming.
As the planet warms, scientists expect that mountain snowpack should melt progressively earlier in the year - but that melt isn't evenly distribted from location to location.
The answer is important for understanding how the Earth system is responding to climate change.
Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) - or "NOAA Research" - provides the research foundation for understanding the complex systems that support our planet. Working in partnership with other organizational units of the NOAA, a bureau of the Department of Commerce, NOAA Research enables better forecasts, earlier warnings for natural disasters, and a greater understanding of the Earth. Our role is to provide unbiased science to better manage the environment, nationally, and globally.