Climate Change You Can See

<a href=" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change">Liam Gumley</a>/Wikimedia


Ever come across someone who wants visual proof that climate change is real? Well, now it’s at your fingertips. Thanks to a joint effort by California universities and research centers, the California Energy Commission, and Google, Golden State residents now have access to a brand new interactive tool that showcases the effects of climate change. The website, Cal-Adapt.org, culls a wealth of information from the the state’s scientific community and reformats it into easy-to-use charts and maps. 

You can tailor the data to your specific location and voilá: The website will generate personalized local climate snapshots, wildlife risk areas, and sea level changes. Adjust the scale at the top of the tools section and you’ll see changes between decades. The site’s aim is to make the information publicly available, so your results can be easily downloaded.

I gave the eight climate tools a whirl by using my own address:

1) Here’s the climate snapshot for the San Francisco area. The high and low emissions scenarios correspond with the map  to the right, showing temperature rises based on location. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) The beauty of these graphs is that you can get a full decadal spectrum. This one shows monthly temperature increases from 1960 to 2090, a 150 year spread.

TK

3) Here are two maps that compare current precipitation to the high emissions precipitation prediction for 2040. The side by side comparison portrays an overall drop in annual precipitation.


And this website is full of extra goodies: There’s a massive publication archive dating back to the 1980s that includes climate articles on electricity demand, shrinking beaches, and intensifying heat waves. The “What is California Doing About Climate Change” section is embarrasingly scant, but as a consolation prize, Cal-Adapt is launching the Historic Photo Hunt Challenge. In a Geocaching fashion, Cal-Adapt will send out the GPS coordinates of photos taken in the 1920s and 1930s. Photographers will then go to those locations, take snapshots, and send them back to scientists, all in an effort to understand how various landscapes have changed over time. Finally, on a fun note, you can customize your background with one of several California scenes by clicking the arrows above the “About Cal-Adapt” box.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.