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Climate of 1998 Annual Review

Item #d99feb33

NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center has released its Climate of 1998 Annual Review at The site presents a recap of the year’s climate and illustrated reports on such topics as global temperatures, global precipitation, and extreme events. A number of other resources concerning 1998’s climate and weather are also included.

Space Weather

The Sun throws charged particles and electromagnetic waves into space that impinge on the Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere, causing disruption of communications, physical damage to the electronic components of satellites, and other problems. These solar effects are generally referred to as space weather. The National Research Council has brought up a website called Space Weather: A Research Perspective at The site contains sections on What is Space Weather, The Elements of Near-Earth Space, Practical Consequences of Space Weather, and Earth-Space Meteorology. The data on the site can be used for space-weather forecasting, troubleshooting upsets of satellite performance, and better understanding Earth’s relationship to the extraterrestrial environment.

Computer-Model Registry

The German website serves as a clearinghouse where climate-change researchers can register ecological (simulation) models or look for such models that would be appropriate for use in their research. Currently, more than 530 models are registered. The first model registered was a 1-D carbon-cycle model.

UNEP Forest-Fire Weekly Report

A weekly report on the status of major wildfires worldwide is made available by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and its GRID-Geneva office (Global Resource Information Database) at The information presented on the site is derived from data supplied by NOAA, NASA, the European Space Agency, national meteorological agencies, and others. The weekly report evaluates each major wildfire and shows satellite imagery and maps that delineate the locations, extents, and collateral effects of the fires. A clickable world map shows the locations of the major fires and, along with an associated index, allows the user to readily select textual and graphic summaries of specific outbreaks.

The Costs of Extreme Events

A new website created by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) reports decades of information about the costs of extreme events (such as tornadoes, floods, and hurricanes) that have occurred in the United States and its territories. It is called the Extreme Weather Sourcebook and is located at The data are presented in constant 1997 dollars, which simplifies the process of comparing the costs of extreme-weather impacts that occurred at different locations or at different times. The site ranks the states and U.S. territories in order of economic losses from hurricanes (for 1925 to 1995), floods (for 1983 to 1996), tornadoes (for 1960 to 1994), and all three combined. The average annual cost in each category is also calculated for each state. More-detailed information is presented graphically. The site was partially funded by the U.S. Weather Research Program.

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