UK Maps the Potential Effects of Global Warming
The British Government recently released a map that forecasts the disastrous scenarios that could play out with a 4 degree (C) rise in temperature across the globe. It features nine categories of effects (including drought, sea-level rise, and permafrost) which can be toggled on and off. The selected category tab displays a “hot spot” on the map that comes accompanied with some explanatory text.
The graphics of the map may not be super sleek and the data behind it may not be groundbreaking, but the real significance of the release lies in the official shift in discourse which it represents. The Guardian reports that until recently politicians have been unwilling to entertain the prospect of failing to stop global warming at the 2 degree mark. With the Copenhagen talks looming near–talks which Foreign Secretary Miliband described as “the most complicated international negotiations ever attempted”–this release should be understood as an attempt to turn up the heat (sorry, I couldn’t resist!) on Copenhagen.