Washington — Researchers observe increases in temperature, sea level and carbon dioxide levels in data collected from air, land, sea and ice in 2013, according to the State of the Climate in 2013.
The report, released online July 17 by the American Meteorological Society, shows the vast majority of worldwide climate indicators, such as greenhouse gases, sea levels and global temperatures, continued to reflect trends of a warmer planet.
Scientists from the United States' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) served as lead editors of the report, which was compiled by 425 scientists from 57 countries. The report provides a detailed update on global climate indicators, notable weather events and other data collected by environmental monitoring stations and instruments on air, land, sea and ice.
NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment and to conserve and manage coastal and marine resources. Through NOAA and other government agencies, the United States supports a wide range of climate change research and alternative energy development projects.
"These findings reinforce what scientists for decades have observed: that our planet is becoming a warmer place," said NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan. "This report provides the foundational information we need to develop tools and services for communities, business, and nations to prepare for, and build resilience to, the impacts of climate change."
The report uses dozens of climate indicators to track patterns, changes and trends of the global climate system, including greenhouse gases; temperatures throughout the atmosphere, ocean and land; cloud cover; sea level; ocean salinity; sea ice extent; and snow cover. These indicators often reflect many thousands of measurements from multiple independent datasets.
The report also details cases of unusual and extreme regional events, such as Super Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated portions of Southeast Asia in November 2013.
Significant findings include:
- Greenhouse gases continued to climb, with atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations increased by 2.8 ppm in 2013, reaching a global average of 395.3 ppm for the year.
- Warm temperature trends continued near the Earth's surface, with four major independent datasets showing 2013 was among the warmest years on record, ranking between second and sixth depending upon the dataset used.
- Sea surface temperatures increased, with the globally averaged sea surface temperature for 2013 was among the 10 warmest on record.
- Sea level continued to rise on pace with a trend of 3.2 ± 0.4 mm per year over the past two decades.
- The Arctic continued to warm and sea ice extent remained low. Arctic sea ice extent was the sixth lowest since satellite observations began in 1979.
- Antarctic sea ice extent reached record high for second year in a row.
State of the Climate in 2013 is the 24th edition in a peer-reviewed series published annually as a special supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. The full report is available on the society's website.