Authoritative Climate Report Features Chapter Edited by ASMD’s Howard Diamond

August 2019

Dr. Howard Diamond, Climate Science Program Manager at ARL’s Atmospheric Sciences Modeling Division (ASMD), served as lead editor for the Tropics chapter in “The State of the Climate in 2018,” released today as a special supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. This annual publication is based on contributions from scientists worldwide and compiled by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. It provides a detailed update on global climate indicators, notable weather events, and other data collected by environmental monitoring stations and instruments, earning it the fond nickname of “the annual checkup for our planet.” This year’s report boasts contributions from over 470 scientists in nearly 60 countries and also marks a 13-year editorial milestone for Dr. Diamond, whose involvement began while he was developing a climatology of tropical cyclones in the southwest Pacific as part of his Ph.D. studies. Tropical cyclones remain one of Diamond’s climate specialties to this day, and he stresses the importance of documenting tropical, and all climate information, on an annual basis in a systematic and peer-reviewed fashion for the long-term record.

Dr. Diamond manages the ARL-developed United States Climate Reference Network (USCRN) program, comprised of over nearly 140 climate monitoring stations spanning the conterminous U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii. “Climate change is an important societal issue,” he says, and “long-term, well-calibrated, global observations of essential climate variables such as air temperature, rainfall, and sea-surface temperature (to name just a few) are critical for monitoring the evolving state of the Earth’s climate.” Observations, particularly those enabled by the USCRN, provide the basis for understanding the causes of long-term climate change and the interrelationships between climate and societal activities. Climate observations are needed to address a large range of important societal issues including sea level rise, droughts, floods, extreme heat events, food security, and freshwater availability in the coming decades.

Rugged landscape with a hill descending to a river. The photographer's shadow is visible at the left.
Photo courtesy of Robert Busey, International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks