Ask NASA Climate | February 23, 2010, 16:00 PST
A warming world
What does it mean?
Harsh snowstorms on the East Coast of the U.S. Record low temperatures in Europe. Not enough snow in Vancouver for the Winter Olympics. How do these recent short-term variations add up and where do they fit in to the bigger picture of global warming?
The recent blizzard of confusing and often conflicting commentary has left many people asking questions. Is the climate really warming? Warming faster than ever? Or perhaps just weirding out?
Since NASA scientists have been tracking global temperatures and climate change for decades, we checked in with researchers from across the agency to get their take on the state of Earth's climate (which, it's worth noting, isn't the same thing as Earth's weather). The result is a collection of feature stories, videos, and cool visuals that describe what we've learned. You can find them on our new "A Warming World" page.
There you'll find:
- A new video about how NASA pieces together the temperature puzzle;
- An image gallery of snaps from space that show the impact of a warming world;
- Why Arctic air has made this winter one to remember in many parts;
- That the last decade has been the warmest on record;
- How the ocean's natural rhythms can hide or accentuate global warming;
- An interview with NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt, who goes on the record about the temperature record;
- A journey through the world's temperature record since 1880;
- Color-coded maps that show the world's changing temperature.