Helping climate science make sense.

IPCC Roundup: Early Reports Focus on Warming ‘Hiatus’

A key portion of the long awaited Fifth Assessment Report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is slated to be released on Friday in Stockholm, where scientists and government representatives are currently meeting to finalize the report’s language. In addition to our original reporting and analysis, each day this week Climate Central will be providing a rundown on the best of news that is being reported elsewhere regarding the IPCC report.

Global-mean temperature (ºC) and CO2 (ppm) for 1971-2012.Temperature is represented in terms of deviation from 1980-1999 average. Both are based on annual mean values.The temperature for the hiatus period is highlighted.
Click image to enlarge. Credit: Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Much of the early news has focused on the so-called global warming "hiatus" and how the document will treat the slowdown in the rate of global warming that has taken place during the past decade. Recent studies, some of which did not make it to publication until after the IPCC’s cutoff deadline of March 15, 2013, have pointed to a variety of possible causes. Some have to do with natural sources of climate variability, such as sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. Others concern manmade and natural emissions of particles that can temporarily cool the climate.

According to the BBC, many of the governments that weigh in on the wording of the report’s Summary for Policymakers, which is the most intensely scrutinized and widely-read part of the report, “are demanding a clearer explanation” for the warming slowdown than what was contained in report drafts.

“. . . This week, when the scientists will go through their summary line by line with officials from 195 governments, the pause is likely...

Read more...

President Obama’s Climate Speech: How it Played Out

Tell Me Why: We Need ‘Normals’ and Long-term Trends

Tell Me Why: We Need Normals

What is “normal” when it comes to temperature and precipitation? The definition not only varies with location and time, but it changes from decade to decade. And it’s those decadal trends that interest climate scientists like Anthony Arguez. He explains the importance of “normals” in this version of Tell Me Why, a NOAA-funded series that explains key climate concepts.

Related Content:
Tell Me Why: Climate Science Is So Important
Tell Me Why: Questions Swirl Around Climate & Tornadoes
Tell Me Why: The Climate Extremes Index Matters

Tell Me Why: Climate Science Is So Important

Tell Me Why: Climate Data Matter

What’s seen from the sky can tell us a lot about what’s happening on Earth. Scientists rely on data gleaned from satellites for information on how our climate already has changed, and for clues on how it might change in the future. Scientist Jeff Privette tells us more in Tell Me Why, a NOAA-funded series that explains key climate concepts.

Related Content:
Tell Me Why: We Need ‘Normals’ and Long-term Trends
Tell Me Why: Questions Swirl Around Climate & Tornadoes
Tell Me Why: The Climate Extremes Index Matters

Tell Me Why: Questions Swirl Around Climate & Tornadoes

Tell Me Why: Questions Swirl Around Climate & Tornadoes

Does a warming world affect the formation of tornadoes? The answer is one that scientists and researchers are trying to ascertain. In this edition of Tell Me Why, a NOAA-funded series that explains key climate concepts, climate scientist Deke Arndt explains why questions continue to swirl around any kind of connection between climate change and tornadoes.

Related Content:
Tell Me Why: Climate Science Is So Important
Tell Me Why: We Need ‘Normals’ and Long-term Trends
Tell Me Why: The Climate Extremes Index Matters