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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Visualizing Climate Change

Visualizing Climate Change

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Wednesday, August 1, 2018/Categories: sustainability, environment, climate change

     Inforgraphic of Climate Signals and Hurricane Matthew, 9-2016 (credit: Climate Signals)

Ecologists, climate scientists, oceanographers, and other researchers are always being asked if a given event is the result of climate change. Till now, the question has been answered by saying that the 'amplitude of an extreme weather event was increased by altered atmospheric or oceanic conditions from greenhouse gas pollution.

The non-profit organization Climate Signals has developed a series of interactive infographics to visualize the factors linking extreme weather to climate change influences. Their diagrams don't quantify the relative strength of a given factor or local influencers like mountains but they provide a good indication of the impacts to expect as climate change accelerates. Using "climate signals" influencing Hurricane Matthew, an interactive graphic shows how each one affected the others. The extreme weather brought heavy destruction from these interacting environmental factors.

Climate Signals has also synthesized a series of other climate change infographics including one on wildfire risk. That visualization predated a report from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on climate change and wildfires that draws many of the same conclusions. The recent extent of intense fire events in the Western USA show climate predictions due to unfold 30 years from now are beginning to occur today. It is not a pretty picture.

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