News and Feature Articles

2016 News and Feature Articles

From Space, Earth Has an Elegant Atmosphere

Satellite photo of tropical clouds

Clouds can be a nuisance when scientists are trying to observe features on Earth's surface. But at other times, clouds are exactly what they want to see. These images highlight some unusual and beautiful clouds.

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Last Two Novembers were Warmest Novembers on Record

Map of GISTEMP Nov 2016 anomaly

November 2016 was slightly cooler than November 2015, but the two months are the warmest Novembers in 136 years of modern record-keeping.

+ Read Data Update

From NYC to Rio: NASA Helps Cities Address Climate Risks

Group photo of NYC and Rio scientists

Researchers and city officials from two of the world's major metropolises, New York City and Rio de Janeiro, come together to share their insights and solutions to mitigate against climate risks afflicting both their cities.

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Last Three Octobers Are the Warmest Octobers On Record

Map of GISTEMP Oct 2016 anomaly

With October 2016 registering as the second warmest October in 136 years of modern record-keeping, the top three October temperature anomalies have occurred the past three years.

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September 2016 was Warmest on Record By Narrow Margin

Map of GISTEMP Sep 2016 anomaly

Last month was the warmest September in 136 years of modern record-keeping, but by a razor-thin margin, effectively tieing with September 2014.

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What If and So What? Climate Change and Crops

Images from presentation

In June 2016, Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig presented the "Maniac Lecture" at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

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NASA Analysis Finds August 2016 Another Record Month

Global map of GISTEMP anomaly

August 2016 was the warmest August in 136 years of modern record-keeping, according to an analysis of global temperatures by GISS scientists.

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El Niño a Key Player in Severe Indonesia Fires

Photo of Indonesian military personnel fighting peat fire

In some locations, changes in ocean temperatures and atmospheric patterns brought about by El Niño lead to drier conditions, which increases the damage during "fire season".

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To Better Understand Mega-Eruptions, Just Add Water

Mount Rinjani eruption

Volcanic eruptions bring images of lava and ash, not water. A new NASA study has shown that to correctly model the climate effects of an eruption scientists need to include the atmospheric effects of erupted water vapor.

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NASA Analysis Finds July 2016 is Warmest on Record

Seasonal cycle of GISTEMP anomaly

July 2016 was the warmest July in 136 years of modern record-keeping according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA GISS.

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NASA Climate Modelers: Venus May Have Been Habitable

Venus Land-Ocean Pattern

Venus may have had a shallow liquid-water ocean and habitable surface temperatures for up to 2 billion years of its early history.

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Extreme Heat for an Extreme Year

North American temperatures in late July 2016

In the summer of 2016, extreme heat waves gripped Siberia, the Middle East, and North America.

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Severe 2015 Indonesian Fire Season Linked to El Niño Drought

2015 Indonesian Fires

An especially dry period from July to October in Indonesia, a result of the 2015-16 El Niño, contributed to a severe fire season and significant carbon and pollution emissions.

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2016 Climate Trends Continue to Break Records

Global temperature map

Two key climate change indicators — global surface temperatures and Arctic sea ice extent — have broken numerous records through the first half of 2016.

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Cloud-Gazing: Gravity Waves off the Coast of Africa

Image of clouds off the Africa coast

Interaction of dry air off the Namibian desert with moist air over the ocean forms clouds that rise and fall due to gravity, forming wave patterns.

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GISS Scientists Select Best Institute Paper of 2015

Image of Journal Article

Scientists at NASA/GISS have voted the article “The frequency and duration of U.S. hurricane droughts” by Timothy Hall & Kelly Hereid as the top work among over 170 research publications by institute staff published in 2015.

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Investigating Climate Effect on Vegetation, Carbon in Alaska

Photo of Corser Bog peatland, Alaska

Peatlands store up to one-third of Earth's soil carbon and are sensitive to changes in climate. Studying peatland sediments offers understanding of past and future response to climate change.

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Farms Act as Major Source of Air Pollution

Image of farm combine

New study shows that emissions from farms outweigh all other human sources of fine-particulate air pollution in much of the United States, Europe, Russia and China.

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Heat Fuels Fire at Fort McMurray

Canadian temperature anomalies

In early May 2016, a destructive wildfire burned through Canada’s Fort McMurray in the Northern Alberta region. Windy, dry, and unseasonably hot conditions all set the stage for the fire.

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Expanding Tropics Push High-Altitude Clouds Towards Poles

Image of Earth

A new NASA analysis of 30 years of satellite data suggests that a previously observed trend of high altitude clouds in the mid-latitudes shifting toward the poles is caused primarily by the expansion of the tropics.

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Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels Will Help and Hurt Crops

Image of wheat field

Elevated carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere may increase water-use efficiency in crops and considerably mitigate yield losses due to climate change, according to a new NASA study.

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Climate Change Shifting Wine Grape Harvests in France

Image of wine grapes

In a study of wine grape harvests from 1600 to 2007, scientists at NASA and Harvard University found that climate change is diminishing an important link between droughts and grape harvest dates in France and Switzerland.

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Record Warmth in February

Map of February 2016 global temperature anomaly

Almost all land surfaces on the planet experienced unusually warm temperatures during the month of February 2016, making it the warmest February in 136 years of modern temperature records.

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Drought in Eastern Mediterranean is Worst of Past 900 Years

Map of Mediterranean region drought

Study finds that the drought that began in 1998 in the eastern Mediterranean Levant region — comprising Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey — is likely the worst drought of the past nine centuries.

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Improving Global Model Precipitation Patterns by Downscaling

MODIS image of W African cloud cover

The inability of global climate models to match the timing or placement of short-term or regional precipation patterns such as the West African monsoon may be alleviated by "downscaling" to use smaller scale climate models with increased area resolution.

+ Read Science Brief

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.

+ Read NASA Release
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