How much have temperatures risen where you live over the past few years? What about in other parts of the planet? Now it can be quickly visualised thanks to an application for Google Earth developed by the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (United Kingdom). The UEA CRU is a prestigious scientific organisation which compiles data on temperatures worldwide. In fact, theirs is one of the most widely used datasets.
The team participating in the project wanted all the information on the climate from recent decades and on climate change to be as accessible and transparent as possible. The application is free, interactive and easy to use. One can move around the whole world, zoom in on more than 6,000 weather stations, see monthly, seasonal and annual temperature data, and consult the evolution of climate change in a specific area. “The beauty of using Google Earth is that you can instantly see where the weather stations are, zoom in on specific countries, and see station datasets much more clearly,” states Tim Osborn from UEA’s Climate Research Unit.
How Does It Work?
To navigate around the map and consult the data, first Google Earth and then the new application must be installed (and executed) on our computer. We can see that the map is divided into boxes of 5° latitude and longitude. The red and green checkerboard indicates the areas on Earth which have data available (the majority of the surface). By clicking on a cell, we obtain the annual data for the region and links to additional information which we can download.