Thursday, March 29, 2018

Mapping the Effects of Climate Change

Climate change projections 2070 (Screenshot: ClimageEx)

By Chris Bernstein

According to an article on, a professor at the University of Cincinnati has created a map that shows where types of weather will change around the United States due to climate change. The map gathers climate change data from WorldClim public database and looks for climate similarities generated from historical data as well as projections until the year 2070. One of the key highlights of the map is its ability to visually represent climate change around the world.

“For the U.S., the biggest changes are on the West Coast, parts of the East Coast, and in the Mississippi Delta region. Much of the central U.S. is shaded in green, indicating less extreme changes in temperatures and precipitation patterns by 2070,” the article states. In addition to the map offering data based on individual cities in the United States, it can also link matching climates from places across the world. “For example, California’s Napa Valley has climate twins on the west coast of South America and in northwestern Africa.” The map offers many benefits to the public who may be planning on where they will end up living in the future, but it also benefits researchers who need visual aids to communicate these issues to more people.

I think this map is a great tool to use when trying to communicate to people how important the threat of climate change is. In my opinion, this map is not the most effective tool for raising people’s concerns about the potential effects of climate change. However, I do think it’s a great start in trying to do so. Raising awareness of an issue or problem takes form in many different ways and this map is just one of them. I would suggest taking this map and altering it to be more appealing to a wider audience and making a more enjoyable, interactive experience. That being said, it is still a great tool and brings attention to an important issue that not enough people take the time to learn about.

Another issue that arises with this map is that it does not represent absolute accuracy. To someone like me, I see this as a pure estimation—even though it is backed up with data. I’m sure the data is correct, but no one can predict the future, so if anything, I think this map is designed for starting conversations and hopefully igniting passion amongst people who are ready to help the environment.

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