Record-Breaking Climate Trends Briefing – July 19, 2016
Released on July 19, 2016
Two key climate change indicators have broken numerous records through the first half of 2016, according to NASA analyses of ground-based observations and satellite data.
Each of the first six months of 2016 set a record as the warmest respective month globally in the modern temperature record, which dates to 1880. Meanwhile, five of the first six months set records for the smallest monthly Arctic sea ice extent since consistent satellite records began in 1979.
NASA will host a media teleconference at 1:00 PM EDT on Tuesday, July 19, to discuss the latest insights into these two key climate indicators, and what this means for our future climate.
Participating in the briefing: * Gavin Schmidt, director of Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), New York, New York * Walt Meier, sea ice scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland * Charles Miller, science co-lead for the Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California * Nathan Kurtz, project scientist for NASA's Operation IceBridge at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland
Figure 1 (Schmidt) –– This color-coded map in Robinson projection displays global surface temperature anomalies for the period January 2016 through June 2016. Higher than normal temperatures are shown in red and lower then normal termperatures are shown in blue.
Figure 2 (Schmidt) –– A graph of the global mean surface temperature for the six-month period of January through June of each year from 1880-2016. The numbers are the differences from the pre-industrial era, calculated as the average mean surface temperature of 1880-1899.
Figure 3 (Meier) -- Chart showing the difference between the 1981-2010 average extent of Arctic sea ice and each year's maximum extent. Years with a larger extent of sea ice are colored red and years with a smaller extent of sea ice are colored blue.
Figure 7 (Kurtz) -- A large melt pond is seen out the window of NASA's HU-25C Guardian Falcon aircraft during an Operation IceBridge flight over the Beaufort Sea on July 14, 2016, to measure the characteristics of melt ponds on the surface of Arctic sea ice.
Figure 8 (Kurtz) -- Chunks of sea ice, melt ponds and open water are all seen in this image captured at an altitude of 1,500 feet by the NASA's Digital Mapping System instrument during an Operation IceBridge flight over the Chukchi Sea on Saturday, July 16, 2016.
Figure 10 (Miller) –– Animated GIF of false-color satellite images of Alaska's forests on June 14, 2015, before the fire season intensified, and on September 1, 2015, after the major fires had been controlled. The images are from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites, respectively. More information can be found at NASA's Earth Observatory
Figure 12 (Miller) -- At continental scales, satellite data since the 1980s have indicated increased vegetation productivity (greening) across northern high latitudes, and a productivity decline (browning) for certain areas of undisturbed boreal forest of Canada and Alaska. This image shows the change in the vegetation trend over Canada and Alaska between 1984 and 2012. Green colors indicate an increase while brown colors indicate a decrease.
GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 220.127.116.11.0