On Tuesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in coordination with the American Meteorological Society (AMS), released the "2011 State of the Climate" report that details global climate indicators, notable weather events, and other data collected by environmental monitoring stations and instruments on land, sea, ice, and sky. It includes details on a number of extreme weather events such as the deadly tornado outbreaks in the U.S. and the extreme drought in Texas. Also released was an article published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society that examines the potential linkages between climate change and the extreme weather events of 2011.
Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) said, "I welcome the release of the "2011 State of the Climate' report. It provides a comprehensive set of climate and weather data that illuminates the significant climate change trends occurring around the globe. This report highlights the importance of continuing the nation's investment in climate and weather research and monitoring."
The peer-reviewed report was compiled by 378 scientists from 48 countries. It used 43 climate indicators to track and identify changes and overall trends to the global climate system, such as greenhouse gas concentrations, cloud cover, and sea level rise. Each indicator includes thousands of measurements from multiple independent datasets. Highlights from the report include that warm temperature trends continue; greenhouse gases continue to rise; arctic sea ice has been below average since 2001; ozone concentrations are at their lowest since records began in 1979; and sea surface temperature and ocean heat content both rose.
"The report released Tuesday provides a clear reminder that we need a better understanding of both the global climate and the type of extreme weather we experienced in 2011, including the severe drought we suffered in my own state of Texas. As last week's storms demonstrated, we continue to face such extreme events. From the deadliest tornado year in more than half a century, to the unprecedented heat wave this month, we have been facing severe, life-threatening, and record-breaking weather events across the country at what seems to be an increasing rate. We need to redouble our efforts to determine the extent to which climate change may also be contributing to the extreme weather events that have been occurring globally," added Ranking Member Johnson.