climate change

How Many Degrees? What Sea Level Rises Look Like

Michael Animation, Photo editing June 7, 2018

My previous work significantly touched upon climate change and environment. It’s a painfully complicated subject and the harsh reality is, it’s even harder to get people to pay attention continuously and engage in constructive conversations.

Tip of my hat to amazing work by groups like Climate Central, whose Surging Seas has really stood out with criminally simple visualization of the consequences and nifty tools (such as Mapping Choices) for average Joes to look up whether their communities are safe from rising seas.

[Above: Two scenarios of how rising seas will engulf the lower Manhattan area around the Charging Bull. Credits go to Climate Central, and be sure to check out Google Earth videos of more global cities here.]

Top 10 GIFs on Climate for Trump

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo November 9, 2016

Dear President Trump,

Congratulations on being elected the 45th President of the United States.

In all seriousness though, I have to say climate change isn’t some scheme cooked up by the Chinese, which I am one of. Look at this chart below showing the historical CO2 emissions of the US, Asia and China, my best estimate is that China will probably catch up on the US as the biggest cumulative emitter by 2045-2050. But I am hoping that you will provide much needed leadership on this regard and push both the US and China to the positive direction and for the good of all humanity.

Asia would have surpassed the United States as the world's largest cumulative CO2 emitter by 2016. (In the chart below, the leogryph icon, from the Asia Society logo, in the orange background represents Asia)

Asia would have surpassed the United States as the world’s largest cumulative CO2 emitter by 2016.

Now here are 10 most important GIF animated pictures/maps/etc. that you may want to have a quick read/watch before entering the White House: Read More

Poll: When Will Sea Level Rise to Deadly Levels

Michael Data & Graphics, Interactive, Photo October 1, 2016

做气候变化和环境议题也有些年头了,理论和模型也了解了不少,但是这个跨世纪的全球大难题最确定的就是诸多的不确定性——比如海平面上升啥时候真的会威胁到我们的海滨城市呢?【点这里看ClimateCentral.org的一系列全球升温两摄氏度和四度的海平面上升对城市影响的系列假想图。】

在举国度假的闲暇,还是一起娱乐一下吧,不想总是那么严肃和忧虑了,看看自己朋友圈里的大伙们是乐观还是悲观占主流吧【纯娱乐,没有正确答案,如果声称掌握正确答案的,可以请Elon Musk的SpaceX过几年发配火星了】:请从四个答案中选择一个你认为最靠谱的,海平面上升会淹没很多海滨城市CBD核心区的年份!

[playbuzz-item url=”//www.playbuzz.com/michaelz14/when-will-the-bund-in-shanghai-or-lower-manhattan-in-new-york-city-be-flooded”]

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Perspective B: Climate Ain’t A Joke (, Politics Might Be)

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo, Video September 22, 2016

Earlier this year, I dived into the New York City public school application mechanism and studied everything inside out, upside down. By May, my family got the letter from the Department of Education notifying us that my son got into our dream school. And his first couple of weeks in this school have been nothing but perfect.

Now this is about something that is also close to my heart but is way out of my control, or out of control by our species at large. (Someone correct me if I am wrong , please!) I have also studied the question of climate crisis for a number of years and it is worrisome, and alarming to be precise.

First, take a look at the 20-year difference between these what I’d call heat maps, color coding the temperatures’ anomalies compared against the 1951-1980 average. In August 20 years ago, only Antarctica was boiling like a hot pot. This past month, the world map looks as orange (and red) like a U.S. presidential nominee. I don’t think there’s anything else that needs to be said about such a drastic change in just a generation. (For more about the maps and to generate your own months or versions, click on the links on “NASA” in captions.)

Anomaly map of world temperatures in August 1996 vs. 1951-1980 (via NASA)

 

Anomaly map of world temperatures in August 2016 vs. 1951-1980 (via NASA)

Anomaly map of world temperatures in August 2016 vs. 1951-1980 (via NASA)

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GIF: Global Temperatures, Dubai Palm Island Building

Michael Data & Graphics, Interactive, Photo, Video May 27, 2016

Month after month, the world’s temperature records have been reset over and over again. And NASA Earth Observatory archive has it all. First one below on the rising temperatures on a global scale over more than a century, decade by decade with latest one of 2005-2014; second one about the first artificial palm island Dubai built on a beachfront.

According to an ongoing temperature analysis conducted by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the average global temperature on Earth has increased by about 0.8° Celsius (1.4° Fahrenheit) since 1880. Two-thirds of the warming has occurred since 1975, at a rate of roughly 0.15-0.20°C per decade.

According to an ongoing temperature analysis conducted by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the average global temperature on Earth has increased by about 0.8° Celsius (1.4° Fahrenheit) since 1880. Two-thirds of the warming has occurred since 1975, at a rate of roughly 0.15-0.20°C per decade.

 

The first Palm Island constructed was Palm Jumeirah, and the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite observed its progress from 2000 to 2011. In these false-color images, bare ground appears brown, vegetation appears red, water appears dark blue, and buildings and paved surfaces appear light blue or gray.

The first Palm Island constructed was Palm Jumeirah, and the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite observed its progress from 2000 to 2011.
In these false-color images, bare ground appears brown, vegetation appears red, water appears dark blue, and buildings and paved surfaces appear light blue or gray.

Dubai, in early-morning hours, still registered temperatures in the 30s on May 28, 2016, only cooler than India.

Dubai, in early-morning hours, still registered temperatures in the 30s on May 28, 2016, only cooler than India, via earth.nullschool.net

GIF: Cities Under Water 2C vs. 4C Temperature Rises

Michael Interactive, Photo May 15, 2016

A few months ago, I wrote on ChinaFile.com about the dramatic renditions of climate change impacts on major cities around the world, with large swaths of urban centers flooded by rising waters, between the 2C and 4C temperature rise scenarios. A huge tip of my hat to ClimateCentral.org for their genius and artistic work on visualizing the consequences of climate crisis.

Shanghai under water 2C vs. 4C temperature rises, via ClimateCentral.org

Shanghai under water 2C vs. 4C temperature rises, via ClimateCentral.org

Lower Manhattan under water 2C vs. 4C temperature rises, via ClimateCentral.org

Lower Manhattan under water 2C vs. 4C temperature rises, via ClimateCentral.org

Sydney under water 2C vs 4C temperature rises

Sydney under water 2C vs 4C temperature rises, via ClimateCentral.org

London under water 2C vs 4C temperature rises, via ClimateCentral.org

London under water 2C vs 4C temperature rises, via ClimateCentral.org

Climate Central: Sea Level Rise Visualized

Michael Interactive, Photo, Video January 23, 2016

Here’s what I write in a recent post on ChinaFile about sea level rise in interactive imagery and maps by Climate Central:

I think a big part of the reason why citizens of the world have not rallied to deal with climate change is the lack of a certain deadline that would warrant our immediate response to the grave consequences of our warming planet. There is no discussion of a specific hurricane or other specific imminent event. As a species we are very good at procrastinating. But Climate Central has published a series of shocking graphics that show the danger of rising sea levels faced by Shanghai, Hong Kong, London, New York, and many other cities.

Here are all the amazing slider images by Climate Central showing how much sea level rises 2C and 4C temperature rises will lock in in the coming centuries, enjoy sliding and playing:

Now here below is one map called “Surging Seas: Mapping Choices” also done by Climate Central. Zoom in and out, drag the map, and many other things to compare the two temperature rise scenarios and what they will do to sea levels and the city streets, in this case Greater New York City area:

Actually, in all the slider interactive images above, you can click/tap the link below each image to see the comparative interactive maps for that location.


 

Now I’d like to give a big shout out to the visual artist Nickolay Lamm who did the interactive city street images. And his big hit project of late is Lammily, or what a Barbie Doll should really look like in a normal woman:

Here below is what real 2nd-graders in a school in Pittsburgh, PA thinks about Lammily, the normal Barbie doll:

Data: U.S.-Asia-China CO2 Historial Emissions

Michael Data & Graphics, Photo January 1, 2016

Asia Society is turning 60 years old this year and one way of commemorating the anniversary is marking a historic milestone in Asia’s rise and, along with it, a major contribution to the world’s explosive growth of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

If Asia were a country, it would have become the biggest emitter of CO2 in historical terms, just surpassing the United States around this year. Below is a chart with the orange area representing Asia, and the Leogryph icon is borrowed from Asia Society’s logo:

pic_US-Asia-China historical CO2 1955-2015e copy copy

Doc Film “Himalayan Meltdown” on Discovery Asia

Michael Film, Video May 1, 2011

Glaciers in Asia are creating an uncertain future across the region. From Nepal to the Tibetan Plateau, Bhutan to India and the Bay of Bengal, a way of life is under threat. The climate is changing and life as we know it from the mountains to sea is falling out of balance. These glaciers are source to seven of the region’s greatest rivers. But our most precious resource is disappearing one drop at a time. The people of Asia are answering the call, harnessing determination, spirituality and science to adapt and survive in a face of a Himalayan Meltdown.

I contributed research and camera work to the documentary from Qinghai and Tibet in China. Here below is a trailer:

Revealed: Himalayan Meltdown, a co-production by the UN Development Programme, Discovery Asia, and Arrowhead Films aired on Discovery Channel, Sunday 15 May 2011, 21:00 hrs.
Airdates:
Sun. 15 May 11, 21:00 – Discovery SE Asia
Sun. 15 May 11, 21:00 – Discovery Malaysia
Sun. 15 May 11, 21:00 – Discovery Philippines
Sun. 29 May 11, 19:30 – Discovery Australia
Sun. 29 May 11, 19:30 – Discovery New Zealand
Sun. 05 June 11, 21:00 – Discovery Taiwan

Sliding Onto The New York Times

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Interactive, Photo, Video August 8, 2010

We invited The New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof to our glacier exhibition at the Asia Society. Our goal was nothing short of wowing him, from the 30-foot-wide wall-covering photo prints to a stunning array of digital assets.

Slider: 1921 vs 2009 near Mt Everest

 

Above is a slider tool (screenshot, see interactive version toward the end of this paragraph) I came up as a concept to illustrate the dramatic glacial change in a compelling way. It also invites the viewer to slide across the image to travel between past and present (or tap on a smartphone or tablet). The Times staff loved it and put it right on top of Kristof’s column.

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Web & Video: “On Thinner Ice”

Michael Film, Photo, Video March 12, 2010

A multimedia presentation co-produced with Emmy Award winning MediaStorm along with a magnificent photo exhibition of melting glaciers in the valleys of the Himalaya taken by mountaineer, Emmy Award winning filmmaker David Breashears. It was a years long combination of stunning before-and-after images of glacier photography spanning a whole century and many years of reporting and writing about climate change and its impact on local communities and the environment by Orville Schell (The New York Times) and Michael Zhao (World Policy Journal). Asia Society also published two reports making a case for a closer collaboration between the U.S. and China on climate change and energy. The exhibition and its evolving versions have toured Beijing, Shanghai, Paris, and soon will land in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2016.

Below is the video introduction to the project:

I was the producer and project manager of both the web site design/development and the video production.

pic On Thinner Ice

Screen shot of “On Thinner Ice” site, co-produced with MediaStorm. Click/Tap to visit on asiasociety.org.

Multimedia & Video: China Green Site

Michael Data & Graphics, Film, Photo, Video February 2, 2010

Over the past three decades, China has dazzled the rest of the world with its stunning, high-speed economic growth. However, rapid urbanization, poverty reduction and transformation of city skylines have come at a grave price: air and water pollution, degraded forests, pasturelands and marine habitats, growing greenhouse gas emissions and a host of other environmental problems.

China Green has been documenting China’s environmental issues now and for years to come and will strive to serve as a web forum where people with an interest in China and its environmental challenges can find interesting visual stories and share critical information about the most populous nation in the world whose participation in the solution to global environmental problems, such as climate change, will be indispensable.

Homepage of China Green site. Click/Tap to visit on AsiaSociety.org

Homepage of China Green site. Click/Tap to visit on AsiaSociety.org


Forbes: Asia Society Has Opened Window on China’s Environment

… the China Green project at the Asia Society, based in New York City but with a sizable presence in Hong Kong, has been tracking the mainland’s worsening environmental plight. As managing editor/producer of the project, Michael Zhao leads the effort to keep tabs and encourage reforms.