ARTICLE

ARTICLE

MapMaker: Climate Change Indicators

MapMaker: Climate Change Indicators

By layering various indicators of climate change on top of one another and visualizing the information on a world map, we can see an increasingly comprehensive picture of Earth's changing climate.

Grades

5 - 12+

Subjects

Geography, Physical Geography, Human Geography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Climatology

Image

Land surfaces shaded in darker red indicate larger temperature changes over time than land surfaces shaded in lighter pink. Additional map layers illustrate total 2020 greenhouse gas emissions per country, as well as greenhouse gas emissions per capita.

National Geographic / Esri
Land surfaces shaded in darker red indicate larger temperature changes over time than land surfaces shaded in lighter pink. Additional map layers illustrate total 2020 greenhouse gas emissions per country, as well as greenhouse gas emissions per capita.

Summary: The map displays several climate change indicators layered on top of one another. Land surfaces shaded in darker red indicate larger temperature changes over time than land surfaces shaded in lighter pink. Additional map layers illustrate total 2020 greenhouse gas emissions per country, as well as greenhouse gas emissions per capita. The larger the circle, the more greenhouse gas emissions were recorded per country. Higher greenhouse gas emissions per capita are indicated with darker purple circles, while lower greenhouse gas emissions per capita are indicated with lighter green circles.

Location: Worldwide

Purpose: Data collected worldwide by scientists, researchers, Explorers, and community members continue to inform our understanding of how Earth is warming. By layering various indicators of climate change on top of one another and visualizing the information on a world map, we can see an increasingly comprehensive picture of Earth's changing climate.

Data Collected
Land Surface Temperature Change:
Data displayed in this layer shows change over time in annual average temperature, compiled from both past temperature data and future climate change projections. The range is depicted between two periods of time: data collected from 1970-2000 and data modeled for 2041–2060, which is based on a Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) scenario that estimates a warming of 2° C.

2020 Greenhouse Gas Emissions By Country: Data includes total greenhouse gas emissions by country in millions of metric tons (MTons) of CO2eq, as well as greenhouse gas emissions per capita in tons of CO2eq. CO2eq, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent, is a unit used to measure and compare various greenhouse gasses (i.e. carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, etc.) with different global warming potentials (GWP), or ability trap heat in the atmosphere, by standardizing them to the GWP of CO2eq.

Questions:

  1. Based on this map, which countries have the highest greenhouse gas emissions per person? Which countries have the lowest? Why might these differences between countries matter when countries are looking for solutions to reduce emissions?
  2. Based on this map, how would you describe China’s greenhouse gas emissions, both overall and per person? China plans to produce much more of its energy using low-emission solar power and wind by the end of this decade. What do you anticipate could happen to this circle as a result? What impact might this change have on the map as a whole?
  3. Where do you see the darkest shades of red on the map? What does this mean? What impact might these temperature changes have on animals who have adapted to live and hunt on ice? What could these changes in temperature mean for biodiversity?
Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

Cartographer
Erica Goldfinger, National Geographic Society
Writer
Kate Gallery, National Geographic Society
Editor
Tyson Brown, National Geographic Society
Reviewers
Clint Parks
Dan Byerly, National Geographic Society
Sarah Appleton, Esri
Last Updated

July 16, 2024

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