climate crisis

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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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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