January 8, 2013 |
Last year was the hottest year on record for the contiguous 48 states, marked by near-record numbers of extreme weather events such as drought, wildfire, tornadoes and storms, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In its annual report, State of the Climate, NOAA reported that the average annual temperature was 55.3 degrees - 3.3 degrees greater than the average temperature for the 20th century. It was also a full degree higher than the previous record-high temperature, set in 1998 - the biggest margin between two record-high temperatures to date.
February 21, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Much of the West continues to struggle with unusually dry conditions, raising the prospect of another year of wildfires, stunted crops and unnavigable stretches of river in various parts of the country, according to a federal assessment. More than two-thirds of the country is under abnormally dry to exceptional drought conditions, "which, although serious, is a slight improvement since fall 2012," said the National Drought Early Warning Outlook. While the report said the drought was over in most of the nation east of the Mississippi River, the portion of the country still facing drought - most of the West and Florida - should expect it "to persist or intensify.
May 10, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The number of U.S. satellites watching Earth is expected to plummet by 2020, and weather forecasting, including hurricane tracking, could suffer as a result, a new report warns. The study, released last week by the nation's top science advisors, estimated that the fleet of science satellites operated by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would "decline precipitously" from a peak of 110 probes last year to fewer than 30 in 2020. The drop is a result of several factors, including budget problems and rocket accidents, and scientists said the United States risked blurring its vision of Earth if it did not act quickly to replace satellites expected to die during the next eight years.
December 24, 2012 |
Tornadoes and wildfires. Droughts and hurricanes. The United States saw almost every sort of calamity this year as 11 billion-dollar natural disasters struck the country. Superstorm Sandy hit New York, ruined parts of the New Jersey coast and closed the New York Stock Exchange for two straight days -- the first time such a shutdown had happened since 1888. The country suffered its worst drought since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. With the year coming to a close, 2012 looks like it won't beat last year for the number of separate billion-dollar disasters that traumatized various parts of the country: 2011 saw 14 massive calamities, a record.
July 13, 2010 |
Robert Downs leads the scientists who sniff at fish. Each day, his team of seven sensory experts dip their noses into large Pyrex bowls of snapper, tuna and other raw seafood to test for even a whiff of the pungent oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. This is not Grand Cru wine. "We use specific terms for the aroma," said Downs, who supervises the seafood smellers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's marine lab here. "Diesel oil. Bunker oil. Asphalt.
July 15, 1998 |
The first half of this year was the warmest six months ever recorded globally and July is likely to set a record as well, federal climate experts said Tuesday. "There is no time in recorded data history that we have seen this sequence of record-setting for six consecutive months," said James Baker, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He called the findings "remarkable and sobering."