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Carbon Dioxide in Atmosphere Reaches New High Despite Pandemic, Scripps Reports

Atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory peaked for 2021 in May at a monthly average of 419 parts per million, the highest level since accurate measurements began 63 years ago, Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego reported Monday.

Scripps scientist Charles David Keeling initiated on-site measurements of carbon dioxide atop the volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1958. NOAA began measurements in 1974, and the two research institutions have made complementary, independent observations ever since.

Western U.S. May Be Entering its Most Severe Drought in Modern History

Extreme drought across the Western U.S. has become as reliable as a summer afternoon thunderstorm in Florida. And news headlines about drought in the West can seem a bit like a broken record, with some scientists saying the region is on the precipice of permanent drought. That’s because in 2000, the Western U.S. entered the beginning of what scientists call a megadrought — the second worst in 1,200 years — triggered by a combination of a natural dry cycle and human-caused climate change.

Drought Takes Hold in West After Second Dry Winter

Dry conditions in the Southwest, largely associated with La Niña, have intensified what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is calling the most significant U.S. spring drought since 2013, affecting an estimated 74 million people.

NOAA Warns of Water Use Cutbacks, Fires and Low Levels in Reservoirs Amid Significant Drought

Dry weather is likely to persist in the U.S. in the coming months, with the possibility of water use cutbacks in California and the Southwest as more than half of the country experiences moderate to severe drought conditions, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday.

NOAA’s Spring Outlook report stated that the U.S. could face the most significant spring drought since 2013, with the potential to impact roughly 74 million people across the country.

Hot Again: 2020 Sets Yet Another Global Temperature Record

Earth’s rising fever hit or neared record hot temperature levels in 2020, global weather groups reported Thursday.

While NASA and a couple of other measurement groups said 2020 passed or essentially tied 2016 as the hottest year on record, more agencies, including the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, said last year came in a close second or third. The differences in rankings mostly turned on how scientists accounted for data gaps in the Arctic, which is warming faster than the rest of the globe.

January Outlook: Wetter & Warmer for Most of the Nation

Happy new year! We all know keeping New Year’s resolutions is often a fruitless endeavor, but here’s hoping that Mother Nature will make—and keep—a resolution for a less bonkers climate year in 2021. To kick start 2021 in the United States, the January outlook from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center favors wetter- and warmer-than-average conditions for much of the country, which is particularly good news across drought- and wildfire-stricken parts of northern California.

Santa May Not Need the Heavy Red Coat When He Visits Southern California

Santa might be able to lose the heavy red coat when he makes his rounds in the Southland, and he probably won’t need an umbrella either.

The extended outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration favors above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation in the Los Angeles region from Dec. 24 through Dec. 30.

It’s Close but 2020 Likely to End Up Hottest Year On Record

Just how warm Earth stays this December will determine if 2020 goes down as the hottest year on record. And it’s looking a lot like it will.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calculated Monday that last month globally was the second hottest November on record, behind only 2015. Yet NASA and a European climate monitoring group said it was the hottest November on record. NASA has coverage over the poles that NOAA does not — and both the Arctic and Antarctic were very warm in November, NOAA climate scientist Ahira Sanchez-Lugo said to explain the difference.

Google Collaborates with NOAA to Use Artificial Intelligence for Weather Forecasting, Research

Google and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have signed a three-year deal to use the tech giant’s artificial intelligence and machine learning to enhance the agency’s environmental monitoring, weather forecasting and climate research, according to a joint announcement released Tuesday.

La Niña and California’s New Water Year

It’s that time of the year in California, when water managers, climatologists and meteorologists look at the factors that determine what the winter will bring during Water Year 2020-21 (October 1, 2020 – September 30, 2021).

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently said that La Niña conditions are present in the tropical Pacific, “with an approximately 85% chance of La Niña lasting through the winter.” Forecasters currently think this La Niña will be on the stronger side. For California, those conditions typically mean a drier winter, with increasingly dry conditions heading into 2021.