Salinity and atmospheric circulation
Ocean salinity is a predictor of terrestrial precipitation

Ocean-to-land moisture transport leaves an imprint on sea surface salinity, making this “nature’s rain gauge” to measure the variations of the water cycle. Two new studies provide strong evidence that salinity in the subtropical North Atlantic is a skillful predictor for precipitation in the African Sahel and the US Midwest.

Oxygen loss in the ocean
Detecting human influence on oceanic oxygen

There is very little doubt that human-driven climate warming will result in widespread ocean deoxygenation; however, substantial natural variation and sparse observational records make it difficult to determine when. New research suggests that human-driven changes in oxygen levels are evident in many oceanic regions now and will be widespread in the next 15-20 years.

Temperature anomalies
Summer 2014 winds gave the 2015-16 El Niño a head start

New research shows how easterly winds in the summer of 2014 caused the anomalously warm subsurface water of the tropical Pacific—which presages an El Niño event and formed following the early 2014 westerly wind burst—to never discharge poleward, thereby remaining in the tropical Pacific and giving a head start to the developing 2015-16 El Niño.

Groundwater levels over time
Protracted groundwater depletion in California after drought – could 2016-17 be worse?

Many people were counting on the strong El Niño this winter to produce surplus water to recharge the groundwater and make up for what’s been pumped out due to the severe drought. However, a new study found that the groundwater level in California’s Central Valley has continued to decline even when drought has recovered.

Small island nations will become more arid
Small island nations face drier conditions by mid-century

Future changes in freshwater availability are a major concern in the context of climate change. New research finds that overall changes to island freshwater balance will shift towards greater aridity for over 73% of 80 globally distributed island groups identified, impacting 16 million people by mid-century.

Arctic temperature anomalies
The warmest January and February in the Arctic

Right from the beginning of 2016 new records were set in the Arctic: warmest air temperature on record in both January and February, and the lowest sea ice cover in February. This year’s record high temperature and low sea ice cover increases concerns about what will happen next in the Arctic and globally under a changing climate.  

Welcome to the US Climate Variability and Predictability Program

Webinar: What's causing the 'Warm Arctic, Cold Continents" pattern?

Temperature anomalies over the Arctic

Recent extreme cold weather outbreaks across the mid-latitudes have been the subject of great interest to the public and debate among the scientific community, with some researchers proposing a link to the warming Artic. To learn about the latest observational and modeling studies that examine these linkages, join Judah Cohen (AER Inc./MIT) and Lantao Sun (U. Colorado, Boulder/NOAA ESRL) in a webinar on July 13.  

2015 Summit Report now available

Summit report cover

The 2015 US CLIVAR Summit was held in Tucson, Arizona on August 4-6 and brought together more than 50 participants from the science community and federal agencies. This report highlights presentations and discussion at the Summit to review progress, identify opportunities, and develop strategies to advance US CLIVAR goals. 

Variations, Spring 2016: A Tale of Two Blobs

Arc pattern of the North Pacific warm anomalies

From 2013 to 2015, the scientific community and the media were enthralled with two anomalous sea surface temperature events, both getting the moniker the “Blob,” although one was warm and one was cold. These events occurred during a period of record-setting global mean surface temperatures. In this spring edition, contributors focus on the timing and extent, possible mechanisms, and impacts of these unusual ocean temperature anomalies, and what we might expect in the future as climate changes.

Call for nominations to International CLIVAR panels


International CLIVAR seeks nominations for the Scientific Steering Group (SSG) and panels. Nominations should support expertise need to fulfill a panel's terms of reference. Nominations with diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply, as well as early career scientists. The deadline for nominations (appointments start in 2017 for panels and 2018 for the SSG) is 20 July 2016.

Submit an abstract to the 97th AMS Annual Meeting

AMS logo

The upcoming AMS annual meeting will bring together researchers across the weather, water, and climate community. There are multiple conferences and symposiums, as part of the meeting, that will be of interest to the CLIVAR community, such as the 29th Conference on Climate Variability and Change. Abstracts are due August 1.

New US CLIVAR Working Group on the Changing Width of the Tropical Belt

Intertropical Convergence Zone

Welcome to the new US CLIVAR Working Group on the Changing Width of the Tropical Belt. The intent of the working group is to further the understanding of new insights that call into question the prevailing view about the nature and causes of changes in the width of the tropics.

Save the date: Arctic Change & Its Influence on Mid-latitude Weather & Climate workshop

Polar Vortex

Join the Arctic Mid-latitude Working Group for a workshop to explore the possible links between Arctic change and mid-latitude climate and weather that has spurred a rush of new observational and modeling studies. This meeting will take place in Washington, DC on February 1-3, 2017.