Visualization of the Week: Northern Hemisphere summers are getting hotter

NASA animations show increasingly hot summer temperatures, especially since 2000.

If you count yourself on the critic side of the global warming debate, NASA has a couple new visualizations that might provide more food for thought. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center GISS and Scientific Visualization Studio put together the animations below that show increasingly hot temperature anomalies in the Northern Hemisphere.

In this first animation, the bell graph charts the seasonal mean temperatures between 1951 and 2011, showing a shift toward hot summers. A post by Wyle Information Systems’ Patrick Lynch at the Scientific Visualization Studio blog explains the curve to the right shows decreasing “hot” anomalies deviating from the standard norm, varying from “hot” to “very hot” to “extremely hot.” To the left, the curve shows “cold” deviations from the norm, varying from “cold” to “very cold” to “extremely cold.” The standard “normal” temperatures are represented by the .43 and -.43 standard deviation mark range; the seasonal mean temperature base period is set between 1951-1980 and is plotted at the top of the curve.

Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center GISS and Scientific Visualization Studio

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