Using peer-reviewed science and Google Earth technology, a new map shows what will happen if the global average temperature goes 4°C above the pre-industrial average.
Climate change is very abstract, even to those who think, read, and write about it a lot (ahem…). Creating visuals that show what will happen (or is happening) as a result of climate change are important to stimulate more action to slow or stop climate change.
The Foreign Office and the Department of Energy and Climate Change in the UK launched this new, interactive map to help communicate climate science in the wake of the climategate non-scandal (well, scandal if we are talking about the fact that private emails were stolen and published on the internet). The map covers issues such as the effects of climate change on crop productivity and food production, water availability, sea-level rise, and carbon emissions.
Putting a Face on Climate Science
The website also includes videos of UK climate scientists explaining the most recent news in climate science. “Allowing scientists to talk about their research to the general public is a way to enable the public to fully understand how the process of scientific investigation works,” Ed Parsons of Google said.
No matter what “climate skeptics” tell the public, climate change isn’t going away yet and that will become clearer and clearer if we don’t move fast to change things.
“We are committed to being the greenest government ever. This Google Earth map supports that commitment to tackling climate change and will hopefully communicate with a bigger audience globally about why the UK government is being active in championing the transition to a low-carbon economy,” Foreign Office minister Henry Bellingham said at the launch.
“If greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, global average temperatures could increase by 4°C by the end of the century, and possibly as early as 2060. This new mapping on to Google Earth illustrates some of the potential impacts of such a rise. It uses the latest climate and impact science to highlight the consequences of not reducing emissions,” Vicky Pope from the Met Office said.
Head on over to the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office to check out the new map and read (or listen to and watch) more about it.