Saturday, January 28, 2017

Two and a Half Minutes to Midnight

The National Snow and Ice Data Center has created a series of interactive maps which visualize Satellite Observations of Arctic Change. The maps allow you to see how sea ice, snow cover and frozen ground have all been shrinking during the 21st Century. Other maps plot air temperature changes in the Arctic and the changes to Arctic vegetation.

Global warming is causing observable changes to ecological systems in the Arctic. Air temperatures in the Arctic are rising and sea ice extent is declining. Even Arctic vegetation is changing with tundra being replaced by shrubs.

Each of the NSIDC interactive maps uses NASA satellite data and research to plot changes to the Arctic from 1979 to 2015. The maps allow you to observe the data for each year in this period to observe how global warming has effected the ecological systems of the Arctic.

If you want to create your own interactive maps of the Arctic then you can use the Arctic Web Map service. Arctic Web Map is an Arctic specific web mapping tool, consisting of an Arctic-focused tile server and a Leaflet-based client library.

There are six Arctic projections available, each using a Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area (LAEA) view of the North Pole region. The Arctic Web Map tiles are compatible with Leaflet maps, when used with the Proj4JS and Proj4Leaflet libraries. The map tiles are available to use free of charge for low-traffic users. If you need high-traffic use then you should contact the Arctic Web Map.

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