National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce

Global Oceans and Arctic in NOAA’s Annual State of the Climate Report

Landscape of Change by Jill Pelto. The cover image of the report reflects the connections between sea level rise, glacier volume decline, increasing global temperatures, and the increas­ing use of fossil fuels. These data lines compose a landscape shaped by the changing climate.

August 02, 2016

The State of the Climate in 2015 report, published August 2016 in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, provides a detailed update on global climate indicators, notable weather events and other environmental data. The report was compiled by 460 scientists, including several PMEL, JISAO and JIMAR scientists. These scientists contributed to sections on the global ocean carbon cycle, ocean heat content and arctic air temperature.

This year’s report has an emphasis on ecosystems, specifically how a changing climate impacts living systems. The report confirmed that 2015 beat 2014 as the warmest year (about 1.0°C warmer) since preindustrial times and that the Mauna Loa observatory recorded its first annual mean carbon dioxide concentration greater than 400 ppm. This year’s exceptional warmth was fueled in part by a nearly year-round mature El Niño event.

Greg Johnson, who co-edited the Global Ocean’s chapter, wrote a haiku summarizing Earth’s climate in 2015:

El Niño waxes,

warm waters shoal, flow eastward,

Earth’s fever rises.

Read the full report, press release and report highlights.