Last week Google launched a first -- a method to visualize the projected impacts of climate change on series of Google Earth layers. Climate Change on Google Earth currently provides two data layers -- temperature and rainfall. But the program will roll out subsequent layers including sea level rise, water shortages, and polar ice melt.
Google Earth partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Danish government, which is hosting the much-anticipated Climate talks in December, to create the application which they hope will help both global climate experts and the general public to gain a more visceral understanding of just what will happen if we do not succeed in limited our global greenhouse gas emissions.
Every day, more research and hard data arrives, spelling a future that none of us want to inhabit. Just last week, the latest forecasts were presented at Climate Week in New York, and a staggering 6.3 global temperature rise was predicted. A sea level rise of 10 meters is no longer out of the realm of possibility and according to scientific projections would cause the displacement of one billion people.
Though more and more people are now accepting the reality of climate change, a large percentage of the population (particularly in the U.S.) either does not believe in or care about climate change.
Hopefully the 3D Google Earth simulations, which pull in thousands of data sources, will present a way for the layperson to wrap their heads around this looming threat.
Google is also partnering with CNN to launch a YouTube channel on climate change so individuals can express their thoughts on climate change via video. Two winners will be given trips to Copenhagen.
The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.