Weather & Climate

Located above the surface of our planet is a complex mixture of gases and suspended liquid and solid particles known as the atmosphere. Operating within the atmosphere is a variety of processes we call weather. Some measurable variables associated with weather include air temperature, air pressure, humidity, wind, and precipitation. The atmosphere also contains organized phenomena that include things like tornadoes, thunderstorms, mid-latitude cyclones, hurricanes, and monsoons. Climate refers to the general pattern of weather for a region over specific period of time. Scientists have discovered that human activities can influence Earth’s climate and weather producing problems like global warming, ozone depletion, and acid precipitation.

  • Air Quality and Paved Surfaces Featured News Article Air Quality and Paved Surfaces Air Quality and Paved Surfaces

    Widespread urban development alters weather patterns Research focusing on the Houston area suggests that widespread urban development alters weather patterns in a way that ... More »

  • Global picture of greenhouse gases Featured News Article Global picture of greenhouse gases Global picture of greenhouse gases

    A three-year series of research flights from the Arctic to the Antarctic has successfully produced an unprecedented portrait of greenhouse gases and particles in the... More »

  • Handling summer heat Featured News Article Handling summer heat Handling summer heat

    If you plan on being out and about in summer, chances are you’ll be exposed to a lot of sun and higher temperatures. Each year, heat kills 1,500 people on average in... More »

  • War and climate cycles Featured Article War and climate cycles War and climate cycles

    Climate Cycles Are Driving Wars, Says Study When El Niño Warmth Hits, Tropical Conflicts Double In the first study of its kind, researchers have linked a natural... More »

  • Earth's Clouds Lowering Featured News Article Earth's Clouds Lowering Earth's Clouds Lowering

    This image of clouds over the southern Indian Ocean was acquired by NASA’s polar-orbiting Terra spacecraft. The featured study revealed an overall trend of decreasing... More »

  • Derecho Featured Article Derecho Derecho

    Two types of derecho may be distinguished based largely on the organization and behavior of the associated derecho-producing convective system. The type of derecho most often... More »

Recently Updated
Climate Last Updated on 2014-10-01 10:48:54 Climate is the typical pattern of conditions of the earth’s atmosphere over a given region, as defined by factors such as temperature, air pressure. humidity, precipitation, sunlight, cloudiness, and winds. The World Meteorological Organization defines climate as "the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time," where an appropriate period is typically at least thirty years. Climate can be assessed at different, overlapping geographic regions. For example, Earth is thought to have a climate that is distinct from that of other planets, while different regions of Earth are also thought to have distinct climate types. Climate is often described as the "average" conditions; however, since daily and seasonal variability (including extremes) are critical determinants, using the term... More »
Clouds Last Updated on 2014-09-30 10:52:27 A could is a visible aggregate of minute water droplets or ice particles in the atmosphere above the Earth's surface. Clouds are classified according to their height above and appearance (texture) from the ground. Clouds form when air is cooled to its dewpoint—or the temperature at which, if the air is cooled, it reaches saturation with water. Air can reach saturation in a number of ways. The most common way is through lifting. As a bubble or parcel of air rises it moves into an area of lower pressure (pressure decreases with height). As this occurs the parcel expands. This requires energy, or work, which takes heat away from the parcel. So as air rises it cools. This is called an adiabatic process. The rate at which the parcel cools with increasing elevation is called the "lapse rate". The lapse rate of unsaturated air (air with relative humidity <100%)... More »
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United States Last Updated on 2014-06-30 19:00:15 The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a federal agency within the United States Department of Commerce.  As a science-based operational agency tasked with monitoring climate and changes in the environment, NOAA is responsible for the study of the atmosphere and the oceans.  The agency issues daily weather forecasts and storm warnings, restores coastline, aids the flow of marine commerce, and manages fisheries.  NOAA's activities facilitate weather- and climate-sensitive economic activity that account for roughly one-third of the country's gross domestic product (GDP)[1]. The agency also responds to natural and man-made maritime disasters, operates a complex network of oceanographic, meteorological and atmospheric data-collecting products and services, and manages marine mammals, marine endangered... More »
Miguasha National Park, Quebec, Canada Last Updated on 2014-06-20 14:56:50 Miguasha National Park is a paleontological site on the southern coast of the Gaspé peninsula in southeastern Québec, Canada, is considered the most outstanding fossil site in the world for its picture of the Devonian Period Age of Fishes. The Upper Devonian Escuminac Formation there, dating from 370 million years ago, contains five of the six fossil fish groups known from the period and the highest number and best-preserved fossils of the lobe-finned fishes that gave rise to the first four-legged, air-breathing terrestrial vertebrates, the tetrapods. Miguasha National Park  (Parc National de Miguasha) was inscribed on the World Heritage List under Natural criterion viii. in the year 1999. Its IUCN Management Category is designated as a National Park. Canadian Taiga  (1.2.3) On the southern coast of the Gaspé peninsula in southeastern... More »
Pacific Coastal Mountain icefields and tundra Last Updated on 2014-05-13 19:12:00 WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection The Pacific Coastal Mountain Icefields and Tundra ecoregion consists of a steep, very rugged range of mountains that stretches from the Kenai Penninsula along the Gulf of Alaska Coast and the Canadian/Alaskan border to the southern end of the Alaska panhandle. In Canada, this ecoregion encompasses the extreme southwestern corner of the Yukon Territory and parts of the coastal mountains in British Columbia south to Portland Inlet. Elevations range from sea level to over 4,500 meters (m), and slopes generally are steeper than seven degrees, ranging to over 20 degrees. The landscape of this ecoregion is dominated by mountains of great height. Most peaks reach between 2,100 m and 3,050 m, but some are over 5000 m (Mount Logan is 5,959 m, and King Peak is 5,175 m). In this high, extreme northern part of the... More »