NASA, NOAA Reveal Record-Shattering Global Temperatures

Global map of 2015 temperature

Earth’s 2015 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information. (2016-01-20)

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Earth's Recent History Key to Predicting Global Temperatures

Satellite photo of smog over China

Estimates of future global temperatures based on recent observations must account for the differing characteristics of each important driver of recent climate change. Researchers need to know the transient response and equilibrium sensitivity of climate forcings. (2015-12-18)

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Seeing Through the Smoky Pall: Indonesia's Fire Season

Photo of smoke-enshrouded Mount Kerinci

Thick peat, El Niño weather, and economic development in Indonesia came together to produce prodigious fires and planet-warming emissions. Scientists around the world used many different tools to better understand why the fires were so severe and what their impact was on human health and the environment. (2015-12-01)

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Declining Snowpacks May Cut Many Nations' Water

MODIS imagery of snow-covered mountains

Snow is an important seasonal water source around large mountain chains. A new study has examined the potential effects of declining snow accumulations in many regions around the world, identifying areas that may be particularly vulnerable. (2015-11-19)

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Accounting for Climate's Backseat Drivers

Photo of Canadian oil sands refinery

The climate would be a much easier system to study if there was only one thing going on at a time. Unfortunately, all of the different external forcings happen independently. As climate changes, can we make any clear attributions to the individual factors? (2015-10-23)

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Smoke Blankets Indonesia

Satellite imagrey of Indonesian fire smoke

Fires in Indonesia are persistent, difficult to extinguish, and very polluting. Climatologists worry that this year could be very bad as a strong El Niño influences reduces regional rainfall. (2015-09-27)

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2015 Temperature Anomaly

Statement by NASA, NOAA Adminstrators

Image from Temperature Video

About GISS

Research at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) emphasizes a broad study of global change, which is an interdisciplinary initiative addressing natural and man-made changes in our environment that occur on various time scales — from one-time forcings such as volcanic explosions, to seasonal and annual effects such as El Niño, and on up to the millennia of ice ages — and that affect the habitability of our planet.

GISS is located at Columbia University in New York City. The institute is a laboratory in the Earth Sciences Division of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and is affiliated with the Columbia Earth Institute and School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Recent Publications

Van Lier-Walqui, M., A.M. Fridlind, A.S. Ackerman, S. Collis, J.J. Helmus, D.R. MacGorman, K. North, P. Kollias, and D.J. Posselt, 2016: Polarimetric radar signatures of deep convection: Columns of specific differential phase observed during MC3E. Mon. Weather Rev., 144, no. 2, 737-758, doi:10.1175/MWR-D-15-0100.1.

Alexandrov, M.D., I.V. Geogdzhayev, K. Tsigaridis, A. Marshak, R.C. Levy, and B. Cairns, 2016: New statistical model for variability of aerosol optical thickness: Theory and application to MODIS data over ocean. J. Atmos. Sci., 73, no. 2, 821-837, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-15-0130.1.

Rampino, M.R., and K. Caldeira, 2015: Periodic impact cratering and extinction events over the last 260 million years. Mon. Not. Roy. Astron. Soc., 454, no. 4, 3480-3484, doi:10.1093/mnras/stv2088.

Van Diedenhoven, B., A.S. Ackerman, A.M. Fridlind, and B. Cairns, 2016: On averaging aspect ratios and distortion parameters over ice crystal population ensembles for estimating effective scattering properties. J. Atmos. Sci., 73, no. 2, 775-787, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-15-0150.1.

Veldkamp, T.I.E., Y. Wada, J.C.J.H Aerts, and P.J. Ward, 2016: Towards a global water scarcity risk assessment framework: Incorporation of probability distributions and hydro-climatic variability. Environ. Res. Lett., 11, no. 2, 024006, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/2/024006.

Tremblin, P., D.S. Amundsen, G. Chabrier, I. Baraffe, B. Drummond, S. Hinkley, P. Mourier, and O. Venot, 2016: Cloudless atmospheres for L/T dwarfs and extra-solar giant planets. Astrophys. J. Lett., 817, L19, doi:10.3847/2041-8205/817/2/L19.