This post comes courtesy of Jack Thigpen, Extension Director of North Carolina Sea Grant. Those of you who use Google Earth for desk-top exploring or even mapping the world will find the following very interesting. Even if you don’t use Google Earth (and you don’t even have to know what Google Earth is), the website mentioned below contains movies in Quicktime and Windows Media that illustrate the concepts and issues. Those concepts and issues are: global surface temperatures, solar radiation potential, global oil consumption, carbon emissions. This is useful stuff for climate watching-, Google Earth-using folks like me! One special note: the temperatures come in two flavors: NCAR and GISS ModelE. Of the two, the NCAR model is finer resolution–meaning you can look at North America and see smaller areas of temperature change over time, though microclimates will show even more variation over time. Also of note: readers may or may not agree with the Climate Change Project (both a product and part-producer of Al Gore’s successful “An Inconvenient Truth” movie), but the science used in at least the temperature graphics is supported by years of serious research by reputable institutions and scientists.
I want to bring to your attention a new resource for use in your presentations. TCP received funding from Google.org to hire interns to create maps specifically to help us communicate about climate change. This project was completed last semester, and I’m happy to share the results with you.
You can download maps in Google Earth (a free program) or you can simply download the movies and incorporate them into your slideshow as you see fit. Content includes maps showing surface temperature predictions through 2100, solar energy potential for the U.S., global and U.S. carbon emissions, and global oil consumption.