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
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 »
Coral bleaching Last Updated on 2014-05-12 12:51:51 Coral bleaching is the reduction of intracellular endosymbionts in living coral reefs either via loss or expulsion of algal pigmentation. The symbiotic relationship between coral and zooxanthellae is directly related to coral bleaching. When this relationship fails, and the zooxanthellae do not receive required inputs from the coral or vice-versa, the zooxanthellae will pale and turn white or be expelled into the water. The resultant decline in coral health from bleaching is deleterious to the coral ecosystem. Chief drivers for coral bleaching are freshwater dilution, change in pH, marine water pollution, increase in sunlight or alteration of seawater temperature. Particularly widespread water pollution is in the form of marine sedimentation from excessive runoff and discharge of untreated sewage. In addition to these abiotic causes of coral bleaching, the phenomenon of overfishing... More »
Handling summer heat Last Updated on 2014-05-01 17:13:08 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 the United States — more than tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, lightning, or any other weather event combined. “Heat can be a silent killer because it doesn’t topple trees or rip roofs off houses like tornadoes and hurricanes,” says Eli Jacks, chief of fire and public weather services with NOAA’s National Weather Service. “Nevertheless, it’s a dangerous weather condition for which people should prepare.” How much heat can a person safely endure? It depends. Certain groups of people should be especially careful during hot weather conditions. For example, city-dwellers and those living in the upper floors of tall buildings or in heat-prone regions are most at-risk... More »