View 300 Years of Global Climate Data on One Map


Image via geo.me

Curious about climate data world wide for as far back as records go? Thanks to an Open Data initiative launched by the UK Government this year, Geo.me Solutions has created a set of excellent tools that pool together loads of weather data and allow users to navigate through maps and see how climate has changed across the globe, with data stretching as far back as 300 years for some areas. Released this month, the demo tools utilize data from over 1,500 land stations used for climate monitoring. Geo.me states, "In late 2009 the UK Government launched an Open Data initiative, headed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, along with a call for innovations challenging the developer community to make this data more accessible. In response, Geo.me Solutions is showcasing a number of concept demonstrations using map-based visualisations."

Interactive Map Shows Temperature and Weather Data
The tools allow a user to zoom in to a particular area, and access temperature data, weather data, and data from nearby stations.

For instance, the map below shows data for each land station, including its location, nearby stations, current weather and a plot of monthly average temperatures. Some of these temperature data points go back 300 years:

Zooming in to the Bay Area of California, we can see temperatures from as far back as the 1870s:

The information gathered by these land stations, which is visualized on these maps, is the same global temperature records that are used in IPCC assessment reports and numerous scientific studies. Through this data, maps of exactly what is happening with global temperature rise are generated.

Why Historical Temperature Maps Matter
Keeping the data open like this for anyone to view and use is helpful for spreading awareness about the rapid - and potentially devastating - rise in global temperatures, as well as how individual areas are changing at various rates. A user can look and see whether or not their local area is experiencing as dramatic changes as other areas, or how their ecosystems may respond to the change other areas are undergoing.

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Tags: Global Climate Change | Global Warming Science | United Kingdom