Weather and Climate Resources

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Artic Cryosphere The term "cryosphere" traces its origins to the Greek word 'kruos' for frost. It is defined as the portion of the climate system consisting of the world's ice masses and snow deposits including snow, solid precipitation, permafrost and seasonally frozen ground, ice sheets, ice caps and glaciers, sea-, river-, and lake ice.

You can watch a movie showing the last three months of sea ice buildup (or charts for the last 50 years of sea ice levels). Or check out the educational section for some very clear explanations for your students. Or follow the latest news regarding the Artic data indicating our current state of rapid climate change. Or you can learn the all the Inuit words for snow (sort of like learning all the Hawaiian words for lava). And that's just the beginning, there's plenty of photos, charts, sections on snow, sea ice, glaciers, permafrost, lots of data, projects, etc.

  El Niño and La Niña periodically disrupt wind patterns and ocean temperatures, bringing deluges to some areas of the world and drought to others. Whether you're after background information on the climate phenomena or the latest data on warm-water volume in the tropical Pacific Ocean, zoom over to the El Niño Theme Page from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

El Niño occurs when warm water that normally pools in the western Pacific sloshes toward South America. By contrast, cool water predominates along the equator during La Niña. The Basics section explains these climatic extremes with primers, animations, and other resources. Visitors will also find the latest forecast--we're currently in a La Niña episode that scientists predict will continue for the next 3 to 6 months. Researchers can trawl numerous data sets from NOAA and other sources, which record variables such as atmospheric water vapor and sea level.
  Keeling Curve Data. This data set is the average monthly CO2 concentrations measured at the Mauna Loa observatory from 1958 to 2003. When this data was first published (1984) it was considered convincing evidence that increasing CO2 concentrations were cause for concern.
  Climate Glossaries and Weather Tools from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  Program Coordinator-- Ken Yanow x5720