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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Visualizing Climate Change Impacts

Visualizing Climate Change Impacts

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Tuesday, October 11, 2016/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 any given extreme event was increased by altered atmospheric or oceanic conditions from greehouse gas pollution.

The non-profit organization Climate Signals has developed a series of interactive infographics to visualize the factors linking weather events 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" that influenced Hurricane Matthew, an interactive graphic shows how each one affected the others. The extreme weather brought heavy destruction to Haiti and parts of the Southeast US 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 just-released scientific report from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on climate change and wildfires that draws many of the same conclusions. The study was also covered by the PBS Newhour.

It isn't a 'pretty picture' for the future.

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