See 63 Years of Climate Change In 15 Seconds [NASA Animation]

MODIS image over northeast US

Despite what some in the “mainstream” media assert, there is no “debate about global warming” — not amongst informed scientists, anyways. Scientists knowledgeable about climate change debate only the finer details, such as: how much CO2 increase will double surface temperature (known as the Climate Sensitivity Equilibrium), or, the role of aerosols in slowing or forcing atmospheric warming (seems different aerosols can have different impacts, and depending on where in the stratosphere they reside).

No, the only “debate” in mainstream society is a pseudo debate between far-right conservatives (and their proxy pundits in the media) who remain in denial about human-caused (or human-accelerated) climate change — despite a growing mountain of supporting evidence — and a shrinking population of hold-out skeptics and those who sadly receive their science news from limited and/or disingenuous sources.

But just to drive the point home in a more eye-popping way, NASA has recently released a 15 second climate change animation — the result of meteorological data from over 1000 weather reporting stations (the world over) going back 63 years!

And, even though the animation is (naturally) time-compressed, one can’t help but note the rapidity of global climate change.

The .GIF below is a more compact distillation of a longer NASA animation (based upon meteorological data since 1950; see link bottom of article). One can see average temperature shifts in some regions of as much as 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degree Fahrenheit).

The surface temperature data analysis comes from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York and was released in an updated report Tuesday, Jan. 21.

In a recent Yahoo News / BGR article by Zach Epstein GISS climatologist Gavin Schmidt commented on the NASA findings:

“Long-term trends in surface temperatures are unusual and 2013 adds to the evidence for ongoing climate change. While one year or one season can be affected by random weather events, this analysis shows the necessity for continued, long-term monitoring.”

According to the (NASA) report,

“2013 tied for the seventh warmest of any year since 1880, continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures. With the exception of 1998, the 10 warmest years in the 133-year record all have occurred since 2000, with 2010 and 2005 ranking as the hottest years on record.”

Also in 2013, the average global temperature reached 58.3 degrees F (14.6 degrees C), which turns out to be 1.1 degrees F higher than the baseline, mid-20th Century (1951-1980) average temperature.

Perhaps not coincidentally, 2013 was the year that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere reached 400 parts per million — the highest CO2 levels the Earth has experienced in all of human (Homo sapiens) existence — possible since the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum, 15 – 20 million years ago.

This animated visualization shows how global surface temperatures have increased from 1950 through the end of 2013.

Watch this NASA 15 second animation (‘Six Decades of A Warming Earth’) of 63 years of climate change (and be concerned):

Top Image: NASA via wikipedia

This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?4135

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About the Author

Michael Ricciardi is a well-published writer of science/nature/technology articles as well as essays, poetry and short fiction. Michael has interviewed dozen of scientists from many scientific fields, including Brain Greene, Paul Steinhardt, Arthur Shapiro, and Nobel Laureate Ilya Progogine (deceased). Michael was trained as a naturalist and taught natural science on Cape Cod, Mass. from 1986-1991. His first arts grant was for production of the environmental (video) documentary 'The Jones River - A Natural History', 1987-88 (Kingston, Mass.). Michael is an award winning, internationally screened video artist. Two of his more recent short videos; 'A Time of Water Bountiful' and 'My Name is HAM' (an "imagined memoir" about the first chimp in space), and several other short videos, can be viewed on his website (http://www.chaosmosis.net). He is also the author of the ebook 'Zombies, E.T's, and The Super Entity - A Selection of Most Stimulating Articles' and for Kindle: Artful Survival ~ Creative Options for Chaotic Times