States are having to make tough decisions regarding their water use and their interaction with water. NCAR scientists are involved in collaborative projects in Colorado, Louisiana, and Oklahoma to evaluate the long-term effects of today’s decisions.
One of the largest bodies of water in the United States, the Ogallala Aquifer, lies underground. Crucial to life in the U.S. Great Plains, it's one of many aquifers around the world under stress as water demands increase. Satellite data are now painting a richer picture of how these water stores are evolving.
A multisatellite observing system that was only a gleam in researchers’ eyes in the 1990s is now a key tool for monitoring Earth’s atmosphere. An ambitious follow-up project could yield up to ten times the data gathered by the current satellites.
The atmosphere has dealt Houston more than a few wild cards over the last few years, including two devastating tropical cyclones and unprecedented drought. While dealing with such weather threats, the nation's fourth largest city is also taking steps to tackle longer-term climate change.
Burning fossil fuels has led to a warmer, moister atmosphere and a shifting background for extreme weather and climate events, according to a study that analyzes noteworthy weather events from the last two years.
Days lengthen as spring arrives, but several other signs of the season are showing up earlier and earlier. Some animals and insects aren’t adapting fast enough to this "asynchrony," and there's an increasing disconnect with legal dates that govern hunting and other resource management.
The winter of 2011–12 was the second in a row to feature La Niña, the quasi-cyclic cooling of the eastern tropical Pacific—but the two seasons departed from the La Niña script in strikingly different ways.
The growing array of tools at the disposal of climate scientists doesn’t necessarily make life any easier for them. Each set of data has its idiosyncrasies, some of which aren’t evident at first glance.
Not all kinds of extreme weather have the same relationship with our atmosphere's increasing burden of greenhouse gas. Here's a summary of what scientists already know and what they're working to nail down.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide has been increasing fairly steadily for decades, but methane has accumulated at a more erratic pace. The increase virtually stalled for much of the last decade before resuming after 2007.