Thursday, 5 June 2008

Human impact of climate change highlighted through Google Earth

Google Earth users around the world can now see how climate change could affect the planet and its people over the next century. Using world leading climate science, Climate Change in Our World shows global temperatures over the next hundred years, along with stories of how people in some of the world's poorest countries are already being affected by changing weather patterns. Examples of possible future climate change impacts have been produced, based on projections by the UK's Met Office.

The project includes present day human impact case studies provided by DFID. These include stories from research projects of the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA) research and capacity development program, and specifically, studies produced through the "Adaptation Stories" initiative of the CCAA. These examples of the diverse work being done by DFID-funded researchers in the CCAA span the African continent: recording lessons learned by farmers in Niger adapting to drought; providing improved climate information and options to help South African fruit farmers prepare for a water-scarce future; and combining climate observation with medical research in Kenya to improve models of malarial prediction.

  • Opening the KML file on the Google Earth Outreach page will take you to Climate Change In Our World.
  • In the main Google Earth window, clicking on the "play" button to the left of the timeline bar will activate an animation showing temperature changes over the next hundred years.
  • During the animation, push-pin icons will appear over selected points on the Earth. Click on these icons to open pop-up boxes containing more information about the impacts of climate change in the developing world. Move the hand cursor or use the navigation controls to fly anywhere on the planet to investigate further.
  • The Google Earth Help Centre provides more details about getting the most from Google Earth.