History has been captured by NASA to prove that climate change is in fact a shocking reality that cannot be just wished away. Politicians and governments around the world may be skirting around the alarming issue but a recently released fifteen-second video by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) shows the impact that climate change has had in last sixty years.
The video by NASA is a dramatized animation of the change in temperature that earth has experienced over several decades and focusing on the fact that temperatures being recorded now is warmer than what it was earlier.
The necessity to create this video stemmed from the need to showcase the finding of a research done through surface temperature data collected from over a thousand meteorological stations currently active around the globe. In fifteen seconds the video establishes the case against global warming very effectively and a great idea to grab the attention of today’s generation to focus on the danger that climate change poses to mankind.
It became apparent that since the world hit the 2000’s, it has experienced the warmest ten years in last 134 years. The year 2010 and 2005 has been recorded as the warmest years and that it came at the turn of century makes the case against climate change a far more worrying trend. However, in the list of top ten, 1998 is an exception, falling outside the current century.
Even President Barack Obama had recently settled the debate on climate change by calling it a fact. The annual State of the Union Speech in Washington by Obama has fortunately shown that the reality is being accepted, albeit in small pockets. And after watching the released video, it should hardly take fifteen seconds for anyone else to also realize that a lot has shockingly changed since the last sixty years.
For understanding the video better, one just simply needs to understand the color coding behind the visible change in colors in the video. The video focuses the viewer’s attention to the changing air temperatures and the change in color to red or orange in the video gives an idea about the intensity of the change. Thus the redder it is, the hotter is has become.
Gavin Schmidt, GISS climatologist, while reacting to a question on the long-term impact of climate change stressed on the need for continued monitoring over a long period of time to find an answer. He said that the trends in surface temperature change has been found to be unusual and is summarizing itself to be a part of the evidence against climate change. However, the question remains whether or not the planet has the time asked by Schmidt remains to be seen.
Another worrying factor that has come to the front is the lack of any fall in average global temperature for the last thirty-eight years. Conversely, the average global temperature has only increased to touch 14.6 Celsius (58.28F) which is 0.8 C (1.1F) higher than what it was in 1880. It is universally known that this unprecedented rise in temperature is the result of uncontrolled increase in greenhouse gases. The atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration which stood at 285 parts per million (ppm) in 1880 and 315 ppm in 1960 now stands at an alarming 400 ppm.
With the current lifestyle enhancement and rapid development being witnessed across the globe it is highly unlikely that there would be a major change in the emission of greenhouse gases unless drastic steps are immediately taken. The need to adopt cleaner technologies on a war-footing can only put brakes to the danger everyone would have to face otherwise.
One may not feel that 0.8 C rise in temperature holds any significance until the fact about the planet having the highest carbon emission level in 800,000 years is realized, and that really comes as a shock. But these facts are exactly what NASA wants mankind to realize quickly from its fifteen-second video released to demonstrate the effect that climate change has had in the last sixty years before its too late.
By Daris Abraham