Climate Spiral

This visualization shows monthly global temperature anomalies (changes from an average) between the years 1880 and 2021. Whites and blues indicate cooler temperatures, while oranges and reds show warmer temperatures. As you can see, global temperatures have warmed from mainly human activities as time has progressed.

These temperatures are based on data from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). Anomalies are defined relative to a base period of 1951 to 1980. The data file used to create this visualization can be accessed here:

The “climate spiral” is a visualization designed by climate scientist Ed Hawkins from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Reading:…. Climate spiral visualizations have been widely distributed; a version was even part of the opening ceremony of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.





Arctic sea ice volume

Daily Arctic sea ice volume is estimated by the PIOMAS reconstruction from 1979-present, producing an inwards spiral as the volume of sea ice reduces. [Andy Robinson has been making a static Arctic sea ice spiral for years.]

Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration

A recent paper by Betts et al. suggested that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide would not dip below 400ppm in our lifetimes. This is the spiral of CO2 at Mauna Loa in Hawaii, showing the increase since 1958 and the small seasonal cycle:


Combined animations for temperature, CO2 and carbon budgets

Malte Meinshausen and Robert Gieseke have produced an excellent interactive tool and set of videos for exploring spirals of global temperature, carbon budgets and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.

Fuente: Climate Lab Book

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