Currents Archive

ECEP hurricane damage index: Satellite imagery of Hurricane Ivan May 18, 2016 | In early July 2005, Hurricane Dennis, a Category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, was bearing down on the Gulf Coast. Anyone paying attention would have been forgiven for having a foreboding sense of déjà vu. 
Scientists visualize tornado's winds: still image from animation shows vortices as tubelike structures
Scientists measure CO2 levels by Antarctica: illustration of CO2 exceeding 400 ppm
image captured from AMPS Antarctic weather model
Climate: Map showing 2015 was warmest year on record February 9, 2016 | The planet is a lot closer to 2 degrees Celsius of warming than official temperature records indicate. In 2015, the hottest year on record, the average annual temperature was a full 1 degree C (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than in pre-industrial times. That’s halfway to the limit of 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) that world leaders set in Paris in December to prevent potentially catastrophic warming. But what if we’re already effectively well beyond 1 degree C of warming?
Map of surface temperature departures from average in 2014 January 7, 2016 | Just how warm is Earth, anyway?  With the recent climate talks in Paris—where representatives from nearly 200 countries negotiated a deal that aims to limit warming this century to 2 degrees Celsius—it's a question many people are asking. It's also deceptively difficult to answer.