In researching for our talk (in just over a week), I’ve been looking for some detailed images of recent research. One of the best images explaining the warming trends we are facing comes from the Earth Observatory page run by NASA. Click on the image to see a full size version.
Calendar year 2008 was the coolest year since 2000, according to the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) analysis of worldwide temperature measurements, but it was still in the top ten warmest years since the start of record-keeping in 1880. Given the range of uncertainty in the measurements, the GISS team concluded that 2008 was somewhere between the seventh and the tenth warmest year on record. (The 10 warmest years have all occurred within the 12-year period from 1997-2008.)
I’m a sucker for statistics and for images like this. They tell a story. It may not be a story we as a society are willing to embrace, but it is a story none the less. We need to move past the arguments of who or what caused it, and look instead to the fact that there are real impacts if the graph keeps on it’s upward trend.
How can this story be presented to catch the attention of the general public?