Will 2010 be the warmest year on record? How do the recent U.S. “Snowmageddon” winter storms and record low temperatures in Europe fit into the bigger picture of long-term global warming? NASA has launched a new Web page to help people better understand the causes and effects of Earth’s changing climate.
The new “A Warming World” page hosts a series of new articles, videos, data visualizations, space-based imagery and interactive visuals that provide unique NASA perspectives on this topic of global importance.
This color-coded map, produced by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, shows the 5-year average (2005-2009) global temperature change relative to the 1951-1980 mean temperature. The color scale varies from darkest red (a 2 degree Celsius, or 3.6 degree Fahrenheit, warming) to orange and yellows (1 degree Celsius, or 1.8 degree Fahrenheit, warming) to light blue (a 0.5 degree Celsius, or 0.9 degree Fahrenheit, cooling). January 2000 to December 2009 came out as the warmest decade on record since global instrumental temperature records began 130 years ago. And 2009 tied as the second warmest year. Image credit: NASA/GISS
The page includes feature articles that explore the recent Arctic winter weather that has gripped the United States, Europe and Asia, and how El Nino and other longer-term ocean-atmosphere phenomena may affect global temperatures this year and in the future. A new video, “Piecing Together the Temperature Puzzle,” illustrates how NASA satellites monitor climate change and help scientists better understand how our complex planet works.
Piecing Together the Temperature Puzzle
NASA has released a new video and image gallery that illustrate how NASA satellites enable scientists to observe climate change today and make predictions for the future.
The video, “Piecing Together the Temperature Puzzle,” explores possible causes for rising global temperatures. It explains what role fluctuations in the solar cycle, changes in snow and cloud cover, and rising levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases play in contributing to global warming.
The new gallery consists of ten spectacular satellite images of our warming planet captured during the hottest decade since modern record keeping began. The images show the kinds of events – including melting glaciers, heat waves, and floods – that many scientists predict will become more frequent in coming decades due to climate change.
Both the video and the image gallery are part of a new multimedia collection available with the launch of the “Our Warming World” Web page on NASA’s Global Climate Change Web site. “Our Warming World” features videos, images, articles and interactive visuals that discuss rising global temperatures and the impact of greenhouse gases as the main contributor to today’s climate change.