State of the climate in 2011: Special supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society

D. S. Arndt, J. Blunden, K. M. Willett, A. J. Dolman, B. D. Hall, P. W. Thorne, M. C. Gregg, M. L. Newlin, Y. Xue, Z. Hu, A. Kumar, V. Banzon, T. M. Smith, N. A. Rayner, M. O. Jeffries, J. Richter-Menge, J. Overland, U. Bhatt, J. Key, Y. LiuJ. Walsh, M. Wang, R. L. Fogt, T. A. Scambos, A. J. Wovrosh, S. Barreira, R. L. Fogt, T. A. Scambos, A. . Sanchez-Lugo, J. A. Renwick, W. M. Thiaw, S. J. Weaver, R. Whitewood, D. Phillips, C. Achberger, S. A. Ackerman, Farid H. Ahmed, Adelina Albanil-Encarnacion, E. J. Alfaro, L. M. Alves, Rob Allan, Jorge A. Amador, Peter Ambenje, M. D. Antoine, John Antonov, Juan Arevalo, Derek S. Arndt, I. Ashik, Zachary Atheru, Alessandro Baccini, Julian Baez, Viva Banzon, Molly O. Baringer, Sandra Barreira, D. E. Barriopedro, J. J. Bates, Andreas Becker, Michael J. Behrenfeld, Gerald D. Bell, Angela Benedetti, Germar Bernhard, Paul Berrisford, David I. Berry, A. Beszczynska-Moeller, U. S. Bhatt, Mario Bidegain, P. Bieniek, Charon Birkett, Peter Bissolli, Eric S. Blake, Jessica Blunden, Dagne Boudet-Rouco, Jason E. Box, Tim Boyer, Geir O. Braathen, G. Robert Brackenridge, Philip Brohan, David H. Bromwich, Laura Brown, R. Brown, Lori Bruhwiler, O. N. Bulygina, John Burrows, Blanca Calderon, Suzana J. Camargo, John Cappellen, E. Carmack, Gualberto Carrasco, Don P. Chambers, Hanne H. Christiansen, John Christy, D. Chung, P. Ciais, Caio A. S. Coehlo, Steve Colwell, J. Comiso, Jean-Francois Cretaux, Jake Crouch, Stuart A. Cunningham, Richard A. M. De Jeu, M. Demircan, C. Derksen, Howard J. Diamond, Ed J. Dlugokencky, Kathleen Dohan, A. Johannes Dolman, Wouter A. Dorigo, D. S. Drozdov, Claude Duguay, Ellsworth Dutton, Geoff S. Dutton, James W. Elkins, H. E. Epstein, James S. Famiglietti, Odile Hembise Fanton d'Andon, Richard A. Feely, Balazs M. Fekete, Chris Fenimore, D. Fernandez-Prieto, Erik Fields, Vitali Fioletov, Ryan L. Fogt, Chris Folland, Michael J. Foster, Eleanor Frajka-Williams, Bryan A. Franz, Karen Frey, Stacey H. Frith, I. Frolov, G. V. Frost, Catherine Ganter, Silvia Garzoli, Wilson Gitau, Karin L. Gleason, Nadine Gobron, Stanley B. Goldenberg, Gustavo Goni, Idelmis Gonzalez-Garcia, Nivaldo Gonzalez-Rodriguez, Simon A. Good, Philippe Goryl, Jonathan Gottschalck, C. M. Gouveia, Margarita C. Gregg, Georgina M. Griffiths, Valentina Grigoryan, Jens-Uwe Grooss, Chip Guard, Mauro Guglielmin, Bradley D. Hall, Michael S. Halpert, Andrew K. Heidinger, Anu Heikkila, Richard R. Heim, Jr., Paula A. Hennon, Hugo G. Hidalgo, Kyle Hilburn, Shu-peng Ho, Will R. Hobbs, Simon Holgate, Simon J. Hook, Anahit Hovsepyan, Zeng-Zhen Hu, Sebastien Hugony, Dale F. Hurst, R. Ingvaldsen, M. Itoh, Ena Jaimes, Martin Jeffries, William E. Johns, Bjorn Johnsen, Bryan Johnson, Gregory C. Johnson, L. T. Jones, Guillaume Jumaux, Khadija Kabidi, Johannes W. Kaiser, Kyun-Kuk Kang, Torsten O. Kanzow, Hsun-Ying Kao, Linda M. Keller, Mike Kendon, John J. Kennedy, Sefer Kervankiran, J. Key, Samar Khatiwala, A. L. Kholodov, M. Khoshkam, T. Kikuchi, Todd B. Kimberlain, Darren King, John A. Knaff, Natalia N. Korshunova, Tapani Koskela, David P. Kratz, R. Krishfield, Andries Kruger, Michael C. Kruk, Arun Kumar, Gary Lagerloef, Kaisa Lakkala, Richard B. Lammers, Mark A. Lander, Chris W. Landsea, Matthias Lankhorst, Braulio Lapinel-Pedroso, Matthew A. Lazzara, Sharon LeDuc, Penehuro Lefale, Gloria Leon, Antonia Leon-Lee, Eric Leuliette, Syndney Levitus, Michelle L'Heureux, I. I. Lin, Hongxing Liu, Yanju Liu, Yi Liu, Rene Lobato-Sanchez, Ricardo Locarnini, Norman G. Loeb, H. Loeng, Craig S. Long, Andrew M. Lorrey, Rick Lumpkin, Cathrine Lund Myhre, Jing-Jia Luo, John M. Lyman, Stuart MacCallum, Alison M. Macdonald, Brent C. Maddux, Gloria Manney, S. S. Marchenko, Jose Marengo A., Stephane Maritorena, Jochem Marotzke, John J. Marra, Odayls Martinez-Sanchez, J. Maslanik, Robert A. Massom, Jeremy T. Mathis, Charlotte McBride, Charles R. McClain, Daniel McGrath, Simon McGree, F. McLaughlin, Tim R. McVicar, Carl Mears, W. Meier, Christopher S. Meinen, Melisa Menendez, Chris Merchant, Mark A. Merrifield, Laury Miller, Gary T. Mitchum, Stephen A. Montzka, Sue Moore, Natalie P. Mora, Jean-Jacques Morcrette, Thomas Mote, Jens Muhle, A. Brett Mullan, Rolf Muller, Cathrine Myhre, Eric R. Nash, R. Steven Nerem, Michele L. Newlin, Paul A. Newman, Arona Ngari, S. Nishino, Lenoard N. Njau, Jeannette Noetzli, N. G. Oberman, Andre Obregon, Laban Ogallo, Christopher Oludhe, J. Overland

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Abstract

Large-scale climate patterns influenced temperature
and weather patterns around the globe in 2011. In particular,
a moderate-to-strong La Niña at the beginning of the
year dissipated during boreal spring but reemerged during
fall. The phenomenon contributed to historical droughts
in East Africa, the southern United States, and northern
Mexico, as well the wettest two-year period (2010–11)
on record for Australia, particularly remarkable as this
follows a decade-long dry period. Precipitation patterns
in South America were also influenced by La Niña. Heavy
rain in Rio de Janeiro in January triggered the country’s
worst floods and landslides in Brazil’s history.
The 2011 combined average temperature across global
land and ocean surfaces was the coolest since 2008, but
was also among the 15 warmest years on record and
above the 1981–2010 average. The global sea surface
temperature cooled by 0.1°C from 2010 to 2011, associated
with cooling influences of La Niña. Global integrals
of upper ocean heat content for 2011 were higher than
for all prior years, demonstrating the Earth’s dominant
role of the oceans in the Earth’s energy budget. In the
upper atmosphere, tropical stratospheric temperatures
were anomalously warm, while polar temperatures
were anomalously cold. This led to large springtime
stratospheric ozone reductions in polar latitudes in both
hemispheres. Ozone concentrations in the Arctic stratosphere
during March were the lowest for that period since
satellite records began in 1979. An extensive, deep, and
persistent ozone hole over the Antarctic in September
indicates that the recovery to pre-1980 conditions is
proceeding very slowly.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Volume93
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012

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