BAMS State of the Climate - 2008

As appearing in the August 2009 issue (Vol. 90) of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS).

Contents of this page:

Table of contents

Please note: The full 14.9 MB BAMS report [ Hi Rez (124.1 MB) ] 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 196-page document (14.9 MB) [ Hi Rez (124.1 MB) ]

  1. Introduction (1 MB) [ Hi Rez (4.9 MB) ]
    Introduction Figures (Microsoft PowerPoint)
    1. Title page
    2. Author Affiliations
    3. Table of contents
    4. Abstract
    5. Introduction
  2. Global Climate (2.7 MB) [ Hi Rez (23 MB) ]
    Global Climate Figures (Microsoft PowerPoint)
    1. Summary
    2. Global Surface Temperature
    3. Hydrologic cycle
    4. Atmospheric circulation
    5. Earth radiation budget at top-of-atmospher
    6. Atmospheric composition
    7. Land surface properties
  3. Global Oceans (2.3 MB) [ Hi Rez (20 MB) ]
    Global Oceans Figures (Microsoft PowerPoint)
    1. Overview
    2. Sea surface temperatures in 2008
    3. Ocean heat content
    4. Global ocean heat fluxes
    5. Tropical cyclone heat potential
    6. Sea surface salinity
    7. Surface current observations
    8. The meridional overturning circulation
    9. Sea level variations, 2008 annual assessment
    10. The global ocean carbon cycle
    11. Global ocean phytoplankton
  4. The Tropics (2.3 MB) [ Hi Rez (19.4 MB) ]
    The Tropics Figures (Microsoft PowerPoint)
    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 Arctic (1.6 MB) [ Hi Rez (14.5 MB) ]
    The Arctic Figures (Microsoft PowerPoint)
    1. Overview
    2. Atmosphere
    3. Ocean
    4. Sea-ice cover
    5. Land
    6. Greenland
  6. Antarctica (1.1 MB) [ Hi Rez (6 MB) ]
    Antarctica Figures (Microsoft PowerPoint)
    1. Overview
    2. Atmospheric circulation
    3. Surface station observations
    4. Surface mass balance
    5. Seasonal melt extent and duration
    6. Sea-ice extent and concentration
    7. Ozone depletion
  7. Regional Climates (2.7 MB) [ Hi Rez (26.6 MB) ]
    Regional Climates Figures (Microsoft PowerPoint)
    1. Overview
    2. North America
    3. Central America and the Caribbean
    4. South America
    5. Africa
    6. Europe
    7. Asia
    8. Oceania
  8. Seasonal Global Summaries (1.1 MB) [ Hi Rez (5.9 MB) ]
    Seasonal Global Summaries Figures (Microsoft PowerPoint)
  9. References (657 KB) [ Hi Rez (4.1 MB) ]


In order to provide the important information contained in the BAMS State of the Climate report to the widest possible readership around the world, much of the report has been translated into all the official languages of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO): Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. The translations were conducted by volunteer translators coordinated by the WMO Commission for Climatology's Expert Team on Climate Monitoring. Due to the length of the report, and the limited amount of volunteer translator time, only a subset of the full English version was translated. Because much of each chapter's key information is reflected in the figures, translation efforts were focused on figure captions. So, in addition to the report's introduction and abstract, most of the translated chapter documents include only the figures and figure captions. These translations would not have been possible without the dedicated effort of these talented multi-lingual climate scientists. Their work is greatly appreciated.

  1. Abstract
  2. Chapter 1
  3. Chapter 2
  4. Chapter 3
  5. Chapter 4
  6. Chapter 5
  7. Chapter 6
  8. Chapter 7
  9. Chapter 8

How to cite the document

Citing the complete report: Peterson, T. C., and M. O. Baringer, Eds., 2009: State of the Climate in 2008. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 90, S1-S196.

Citing a chapter (example): Levy, J. M., Ed., 2009: Global oceans [in "State of the Climate in 2008"]. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 90, S1-S196.

Citing a section (example): L'Heureux, M., G. Bell, and M. Halpert, 2009: ENSO and the tropical Pacific [in "State of the Climate in 2008"]. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 90, S1-S196.