AGCM Atmospheric General Circulation Model
AIS Antarctic Ice Sheet
AMO Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation
AMOC Atlantic meridional overturning circulation
AMSU Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit
AO Arctic Oscillation
AOD aerosol optical depth
AR atmospheric river
AW Atlantic Water
BAMS Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
BC black carbon
BCE Before Common Era
CAM5 Community Atmospheric Model, Version 5
CAPE convective available potential energy
CCN cloud condensation nuclei
CCSM3 Community Climate System Model, Version 3
CDR carbon dioxide removal
CE Common Era
CENRS Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability (National Science and Technology Council, White House)
CESM-LE Community Earth System Model Large Ensemble Project
CFCs chlorofluorocarbons
CI climate intervention
CMIP5 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, Fifth Phase (also CMIP3 and CMIP6)
CONUS contiguous United States
CP Central Pacific
CSSR Climate Science Special Report
DIC dissolved inorganic carbon
DJF December-January-February
DoD SERDP SERDP U.S. Department of Defense, Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program
DOE U.S. Department of Energy
EAIS East Antarctic Ice Sheet
ECS equilibrium climate sensitivity
ENSO El Niño-Southern Oscillation
EOF analysis empirical orthogonal function analysis
EP Eastern Pacific
ERF effective radiative forcing
ESD empirical statistical downscaling
ESDM empirical statistical downscaling model
ESM Earth System Model
ESS Earth system sensitivity
ETC extratropical cyclone
ETCCDI Expert Team on Climate Change Detection Indices
GBI Greenland Blocking Index
GCIS Global Change Information System
GCM global climate model
GeoMIP Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project
GFDL HiRAM Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, global HIgh Resolution Atmospheric Model (NOAA)
GHCN Global Historical Climatology Network (National Centers for Environmental Information, NOAA)
GHG greenhouse gas
GMSL global mean sea level
GMT global mean temperature
GPS global positioning system
GRACE Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment
GrIS Greenland Ice Sheet
GWP global warming potential
HadCM3 Hadley Centre Coupled Model, Version 3
HadCRUT4 Hadley Centre Climatic Research Unit Gridded Surface Temperature Dataset 4
HCFCs hydrochlorofluorocarbons
HFCs hydrofluorocarbons
HOT Hawai‘i Ocean Time-series
HOT-DOGS Hawai‘i Ocean Time-series Data Organization & Graphical System
HURDAT2 revised Atlantic Hurricane Database (National Hurricane Center, NOAA)
IAM integrated assessment model
IAV impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability
INMCM Institute for Numerical Mathematics Climate Model
IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
IPCC AR5 Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC; also SPM – Summary for Policymakers, and WG1, WG2, WG3 – Working Groups 1-3
IPO Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation
IVT integrated vapor transport
JGOFS U.S. Joint Global Ocean Flux Study
JJA June-July-August
JTWC Joint Typhoon Warning Center
LCC land-cover changes
LULCC land-use and land-cover change
MAM March-April-May
MSU Microwave Sounding Unit
NAM Northern Annular Mode
NAO North Atlantic Oscillation
NARCCAP North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (World Meteorological Organization)
NAS National Academy of Sciences
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NCA National Climate Assessment
NCA3 Third National Climate Assessment
NCA4 Fourth National Climate Assessment
NCEI National Centers for Environmental Information (NOAA)
NDC nationally determined contribution
NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NPI North Pacific Index
NPO North Pacific oscillation
NPP net primary production
OMZs oxygen minimum zones
OSTP Office of Science and Technology Policy (White House)
PCA principle component analysis
PDO Pacific Decadal Oscillation
PDSI Palmer Drought Severity Index
PETM Paleo-Eocene Thermal Maximum
PFCs perfluorocarbons
PGW pseudo-global warming
PNA Pacific North American Pattern
RCM regional climate models
RCP Representative Concentration Pathway
RF radiative forcing
RFaci aerosol–cloud interaction (effect on RF)
RFari aerosol–radiation interaction (effect on RF)
RMSE root mean square error
RSL relative sea level
RSS remote sensing systems
S06 surface-to-6 km layer
SCE snow cover extent
SGCR Subcommittee on Global Change Research (National Science and Technology Council, White House)
SLCF short-lived climate forcer
SLCP short-lived climate pollutant
SLR sea level rise
SOC soil organic carbon
SRES IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios
SREX IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation
SRM solar radiation management
SSC Science Steering Committee
SSI solar spectral irradiance
SSP Shared Socioeconomic Pathway
SST sea surface temperature
STAR Center for Satellite Applications and Research (NOAA)
SWCRE shortwave cloud radiative effect (on radiative fluxes)
LWCRE longwave cloud radiative effect (on radiative fluxes)
TA total alkalinity
TC tropical cyclone
TCR transient climate response
TCRE transient climate response to cumulative carbon emissions
TOPEX/JASON1,2 Topography Experiment/Joint Altimetry Satellite Oceanography Network satellites (NASA)
TSI total solar irradiance
TTT temperature total troposphere
UAH University of Alabama, Huntsville
UHI urban heat island (effect)
UNFCCC United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
USGCRP U.S. Global Change Research Program
USGS U.S. Geological Survey
UV ultraviolet
VOCs volatile organic compounds
WAIS West Antarctic Ice Sheet
WCRP World Climate Research Programme
WMGHG well-mixed greenhouse gas
WOCE World Ocean Circulation Experiment (JGOFS)

Abbreviations and Units

C carbon
CO carbon monoxide
CH4 methane
cm centimeters
CO2 carbon dioxide
°C degrees Celsius
°F degrees Fahrenheit
GtC gigatonnes of carbon
hPA hectopascal
H2S hydrogen sulfide
H2SO4 sulfuric acid
km kilometers
m meters
mm millimeters
Mt megaton
μatm microatmosphere
N nitrogen
N2O nitrous oxide
NOx nitrogen oxides
O2 molecular oxygen
O3 ozone
OH hydroxyl radical
PgC petagrams of carbon
ppb parts per billion
ppm parts per million
SF6 sulfur hexafluoride
SO2 sulfur dioxide
TgC teragrams of carbon
W/m2 Watts per meter squared