2011 State of the Climate Report Released

La Niña chilled the eastern tropical Pacific in 2011, but ocean heat content nearly everywhere else was above the long-term average. Maps and trend graphs of 8 additional climate indicators are available from climate.gov.

July 10, 2012, NOAA released the 2011 State of the Climate report, a peer-reviewed report compiled by 378 scientists from 48 countries around the world. It 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. According to the report, 2011 was the coolest year on record since 2008 even though temperatures remained above the 1981–2010 average.

The report uses 43 climate indicators 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.

The report also provides details on a number of extreme events experienced all over the globe, including the worst flooding in Thailand in almost 70 years, drought and deadly tornado outbreaks in the United States, devastating flooding in Brazil, and the worst summer heat wave in central and southern Europe since 2003. It also describes the two back-to-back La Niñas that affected regional climates and influenced many of the world’s significant weather events throughout the year.

The 2011 State of the Climate report is peer-reviewed and published annually as a special supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. The report is part of a suite of climate services NOAA provides government, business, and community leaders so they can make informed decisions. It was edited by Jessica Blunden, Ph.D., and Deke Arndt of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. The full report can be viewed by visiting http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/bams-state-of-the-climate/2011.php.

You can also find highlights from the 2011 State of the Climate report on Climate.gov. These highlights feature a map of major climate events in 2011, descriptions of global climate indicators, an article on the double-dip La Niña, an article on the Artic and the Antarctic, an article on the Arctic’s first ozone hole, and an interview with the report’s editor.