BAMS State of the Climate - 2007

As appearing in the July, 2008 issue (Vol. 89) of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS).

Contents of this page:


The combined land and ocean surface temperature in 2007 fell within the ten highest on record, while the average land temperature was the warmest since global records began in 1880. In the low- to mid-troposphere, the annual global mean temperature was among the five warmest since reliable global records began in 1958, but still cooler than the record warmest year of 1998. For the fourth consecutive year, the annual precipitation averaged over global land surfaces was above the long-term mean, although the anomaly was significantly less than in 2006 when the annual value was the eighth wettest since 1901.

The globally averaged concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) continued to increase in 2007, having risen to 382.7 ppm at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. The average rate of rise of CO2 has been 1.6 ppm/yr since 1980; however, since 2000 this has increased to 1.9 ppm/yr. In addition, both methane (CH4) and carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations were also higher in 2007.

Over the oceans, global sea surface temperature (SST) during 2007 showed significant departures from the 1971-2000 climatology. Annual average upper ocean heat content anomalies declined between 2006 and 2007 in the eastern equatorial Pacific and increased in off-equatorial bands in that ocean basin. These changes were consistent with the transition from an El Niño in 2006 to a La Niña in 2007. The global mean sea level anomaly (SLA) in 2007 was 1.1 mm higher than in 2006, which is about one standard deviation below what would be expected from the 15-year trend value of 3.4 mm/yr.

In the Tropics, the Atlantic hurricane season was near-normal in 2007, although slightly more active than in 2006. In the North and South Indian Ocean basins, both the seasonal totals and intensity of tropical cyclones (TC) were significantly above average, and included two Saffir-Simpson category 5 TCs in the North Indian Ocean and a world record rainfall amount of 5510 mm over a 3-8 day period on the island of Reunion in the South Indian Ocean.

In the Polar regions 2007 was the warmest on record for the Arctic, and continued a general, Arctic-wide warming trend that began in the mid-1960s. An unusually strong high pressure region in the Beaufort Sea during summer contributed to a record minimum Arctic sea ice cover in September. Measurements of the mass balance of glaciers and ice caps indicate that in most of the world, glaciers are shrinking in mass. The Greenland ice sheet experienced records in both the duration and extent of the summer surface melt. From the continental scale, as a whole the Antarctic was warmer than average in 2007, although the Antarctic Peninsula was considerably cooler than average. The size of the ozone hole was below the record levels of 2006, and near the average of the past 15 years, due to warmer springtime temperatures in the Antarctic stratosphere.

Table of contents

Please note: The full 16 MB BAMS report is available. This document is indexed and searchable. For those with slower internet connections, the following table of contents links are provided. Each link will open an Adobe PDF document containing the particular subsection. Section file sizes are noted in (parentheses).

Full 179-page document (16 MB)

  1. Introduction (240 KB)
    1. Title page
    2. Author Affiliations
    3. Table of contents
    4. Abstract
    5. Introduction
  2. Global Climate (2.3 MB)
    1. Overview
    2. Global Surface Temperature
    3. Hydrologic Cycle
    4. Trace gases and aerosols
    5. Global winds
    6. Major modes of Northern Hemisphere variability:
      The Arctic Oscillation and the Pacific-North American pattern
  3. Global Oceans (2.7 MB)
    1. Overview
    2. Temperature
    3. Sea surface salinity
    4. Circulation
    5. Sea level variations
    6. Global ocean carbon cycle
    7. Global ocean phytoplankton and productivity
  4. The Tropics (3.2 MB)
    1. Overview
    2. ENSO and the tropical Pacific
    3. The Madden-Julian Oscillation
    4. Tropical cyclones
    5. Intertropical convergence zones
    6. Indian Ocean dipole
  5. The Poles (1.9 MB)
    1. Arctic
    2. Antarctic
  6. Regional Climates (3.8 MB)
    1. Overview
    2. Africa
    3. North America
    4. Central America and the Caribbean
    5. South America
    6. Asia
    7. Europe
    8. Oceania
  7. Seasonal Summaries (641 KB)
  8. References (282 KB)

How to cite the document

Citing the complete report: Levinson, D.H., and J.H. Lawrimore eds., 2008: State of the Climate in 2007. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 89, S1-S179.

Citing a chapter (example): Levy, J.M., ed., 2008: Global Oceans, in State of the Climate in 2007. Levinson, D.H., and J.H. Lawrimore eds., Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 89, S37-S61.

Citing a section (example): Kabidi, K. and A. Sayouri, 2008: Northern Africa, in State of the Climate in 2007. Levinson, D.H., and J.H. Lawrimore eds., Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 89, S107-S109.

Peer Review Comments and Responses

  1. Introduction Responses Adobe PDF Icon
  2. Global Climate Responses Adobe PDF Icon
  3. Global Oceans Responses Adobe PDF Icon
  4. Tropics Responses Adobe PDF Icon
  5. The Poles Responses Adobe PDF Icon
  6. Regional Climate Responses Adobe PDF Icon