One of the mightiest El Niño patterns in memory brought unprecedented drought and flooding in 2016, the hottest year on record. The planet also passed a
grim milestone: an atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration of 400 parts per million, including remote Antarctica, which hasn’t seen that much CO2 for 4
million years. Climatologists target 350 ppm as the uppermost threshold before we see dire consequences, like catastrophic sea level rise. Some locations
previously had topped 400 ppm on a seasonal cycle, but scientists say this time it’s permanent — and global.
Climate Change Around the World
For the first time in the Iditarod’s 44-year history, organizers imported snow for the sled dog race via the Alaska Railroad, as winter and spring
temperatures climbed 9 degrees F above average, shattering a decades-old record.
Western Drought . . . Still
Hopes that El Niño would fill reservoirs crumbled when predicted precipitation didn’t reach the West. By summer, the Sierra Nevada snowpack — L.A.’s
lifeblood — was half of normal. New models show it won’t recover until 2019, even with a few winters of heavy snow.