On August 10th, the State of the Climate in 2016 was published in a special edition of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. This 27th annual report is based on contributions from more than 500 scientists representing over 60 countries around the world. It is the most comprehensive annual summary of Earth’s climate and provides a detailed update on global climate indicators, notable weather events and other data collected from locations on land, water, ice, and in space.
PMEL, including JISAO and JIMAR, scientists contributed to sections on the global ocean carbon cycle, ocean heat content and arctic air temperature.
The new report confirmed that 2016 surpassed 2015 as the warmest year in 137 years of recordkeeping. Several climate indicators also set new records in 2016, including greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level, and sea surface temperature. The Arctic also continued to warm with average Arctic land surface temperature 3.6°F (2.0°C) above the 1981-2010 average and sea ice extent and thickness remained low.
Dr. Gregory C. Johnson, PMEL oceanographer and editor for the ocean chapter, sums up in Haiku form:
Large El Niño wanes,
east Pacific tropics cool,
seas shed heat, slow rise
PMEL in the News
Seattle has officially tied the longest streak of rain-free weather at 51 days. At 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, we broke that record. With a few showers finally returning to the forecast by Sunday and Monday of next week we'll probably end the streak at 56 or 57 days.
Soggy Seattle clocked the wettest winter on record just months ago. Now, the city known for its Gore-Tex and overcast days has gone in the other extreme: it's in its longest dry streak in more than six decades. As of Tuesday, 52 consecutive dry days have been measured at Seattle-Tacoma...
Global warming can’t be blamed for 2017’s wild swings in rainfall, but scientists say slightly wetter winters and drier summers might be more common in the future.
Over the last decade, a number of tsunami events originating from distant regions of the Pacific Ocean have impacted the US West Coast. In some cases, the arrival of tsunami waves associated with these events has coincided with low tide levels, such as the 2006 Kuril Islands (Russia) and 2011 Tohoku (Japan) events. This fortunate circumstance helped minimize inundation of dry land, but also illustrated that tsunami-induced water currents can result in severe damage to harbor facilities,... more