Two key climate change indicators have broken numerous records through the first half of 2016, according to NASA analyses of ground-based observations and satellite data. Each of the first six months of 2016 set a record as the warmest respective month globally in the modern temperature record, which dates to 1880. Meanwhile, five of the first six months set records for the smallest monthly Arctic sea ice extent since consistent satellite records began in 1979. NASA researchers are in the field this summer, collecting data to better understand our changing climate.
While these two key climate indicators have broken records of late, NASA scientists said it is more significant that global temperature and Arctic sea ice are continuing their decades-long trends of change. Both trends are ultimately driven by rising atmospheric concentrations of heat-trapping carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases as a result of fossil fuel burning and deforestation. These rising concentrations directly cause warming of the atmosphere and ocean, which in turn induce sea ice melt.NASA tracks temperature and sea ice as part of its effort to understand the Earth as a system and to understand how Earth is changing. In addition to maintaining a fleet of 20 Earth-observing satellite missions, NASA also sends researchers around the globe to investigate different facets of the planet at closer range. Right now, NASA researchers are working across the Arctic to better understand both the processes driving increased sea ice melt and the impacts of rising temperatures on Arctic ecosystems.
Scientists used GRACE data to identify regional trends of freshwater movement, and combined that information with data from other satellites, climate models and precipitation measurements to determine the causes of major regional trends in freshwater storage.
THE WEATHER PENDULUM BETWEEN INTENSE DROUGHTS AND FLOOD
As our warming atmosphere holds more water vapour - and more heat- the weather phenomena become more intense. Resulting in a increasing number of droughts, intense storms, and floods, that poses risks to public health, food production and overall our future.