2012 State of the Climate Report Released

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) has released its 2012 State of the Climate report in coordination with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, NC.  The report provides a detailed update on global climate indicators, notable weather events, and other data collected by environmental monitoring stations and instruments on land, sea, ice, and sky.  Dozens of climate indicators were used to track and identify changes and overall trends to the global climate system.  These indicators include greenhouse gas concentrations, temperature of the lower and upper atmosphere, cloud cover, sea surface temperature, sea-level rise, ocean salinity, sea ice extent and snow cover.  Each indicator includes thousands of measurements from multiple independent datasets.  Some findings in the report include:

  • Warm temperature trends continue near Earth’s surface;
  • The Arctic continues to warm, sea ice extent reaches record low, and Antarctica sea ice extent reaches record high;
  • Sea surface temperatures increase;
  • Ocean heat content remains near record levels;
  • Sea level reaches record high;
  • Ocean salinity trends continue; and
  • Greenhouse gases climb

The 2012 State of the Climate report is published annually and this year marks the 23rd edition of the report, which is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides to government, the business sector, academia, and the public to support informed decision-making. The full report can be viewed online.