NOAA

A team of government scientists has revised its estimate for how much the planet has been warming. The new results, published in the journal Science, may dispel the idea that Earth has been in the midst of a "global warming hiatus" — a period over the past 20 years where the planet's temperature appears to have risen very little. "We think the data no longer supports the notion of having a hiatus," says Tom Karl , a scientist with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and...

It's official: 2014 was the hottest year on record. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center crunched the numbers and came to this conclusion : "The year 2014 was the warmest year across global land and ocean surfaces since records began in 1880. The annually-averaged temperature was 0.69°C (1.24°F) above the 20th century average of 13.9°C (57.0°F), easily breaking the previous records of 2005 and 2010 by 0.04°C (0.07°F). This also marks the 38th...

Earth is in the line of fire of a powerful solar flare that has already begun hitting us, but most of the energy from the Coronal Mass Ejection , or CME, will skirt safely by, scientists say, with major disruptions to the electric grid, satellites and communications unlikely. But if you're lucky — and far enough north — you might see a nice display of aurora borealis. Sky & Telescope says the X-class flare "should ... produce moderate-to-strong auroras over the weekend." The magazine adds: ...

One summer, when I was growing up, it was common to hear about sightings of the “northern lights” over Grand Mesa. Most of the stories came from high school kids staying out too late on dates. At the time, I scoffed at those stories, but have since learned that that summer happened to be during a particularly active sun cycle. Auroras, or “northern lights”, occur when charged particles from solar storms are caught up in Earth’s magnetic field and energize nitrogen and oxygen atoms in the...