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NASA Visualizes 130 Years of Climate Change in 30 Seconds

From 1800 to 2011, the surface temperature for Earth rose almost 1 degree Celsius.

NASA Visualizes 130 Years of Climate Change in 30 Seconds

Collecting surface temperature records from more than 1,000 weather stations dating back to 1880, NASA has compiled a video visualizing 130 years of climate change.

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Featured on NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day site, the video’s yellow and red hues represent warmer temperatures relative to local average temperatures in the mid-1900s. By the 20th century, the change accelerated, with NASA noting that most of the warmest years on record have occurred in the recent past. From 1800 to 2011, global temperatures increased almost 1 degree Celsius (that difference is 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit). These changes have been linked to extreme weather events, such as Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina.

Earlier this week, Stanford scientists warned that climate change is expected to hasten at a rate 10 times faster than any shifts that have occurred within the last 65 million years. By the end of the 21st century, temperatures could rise 5 to 6 degrees Celsius.

Correction: This post previously noted the conversion and not the difference for 1 degree Celsius to Fahrenheit.

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

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