Wednesday, April 03, 2019

3D Climate Change

Usually I'm not a huge fan of 3D bar charts on maps. However the 3D data towers on Global Temperature Anomalies do reveal some interesting patterns in climate change around the world. Global Temperature Anomalies shows where temperatures around the world are above or below the long-term average temperature for every year since 1950.

You may have heard the news this week from Canada's Environment and Climate Change Department that Canada is warming at twice the rate of the average across the rest of the world. Climate scientists have been aware for a number of years that the Arctic is also warming more than the global average. This pattern of higher than average temperature changes in the extreme north of the planet is apparent on the Global Temperature Anomalies 3D globe.

The temperature towers on the globe are colored to show whether temperatures in the selected year were higher or lower than the long-term average. The height of the towers reflects the scale of the temperature anomaly recorded. If you spin the globe around you can see that there is a distinct bulge at the Arctic. This reveals that the temperature anomalies being recorded here are bigger on average than the rest of the world. It is an interesting way to visualize this geographical pattern in global warming. However I still think this pattern could be more clearly visualized using a 2D choropleth map (using a polar projection). 

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