Earlier this year, the folks at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies put together a video that shows how temperatures have changed across the planet from 1880 to 2011. The last 30 years are especially scary, particularly if you watch what's happening in the Arctic, where the largest temperature changes are occuring.
NASA actually released the video in January, along with summaries from researchers about changing global temperatures. But the video was making the rounds again yesterday, thanks to some contributors to Climate Desk, a multi-organization news collaborative.
Kate Sheppard, a writer for Mother Jones and one of the contributors, pointed out that 2011 was the ninth warmest year on record and that yesterday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that the summer of 2012 was the third hottest on record.
The video is effective in illustrating how temperatures are changing across the planet and now is a good time to bring it back out. Presidential and Congressional campaigns are approaching their peak, yet climate issues are hardly getting any attention. And the country's leaders desperately need to develop some sound climate policies. At a minimum, they need to start considering climate adaptation measures, though policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions are also essential.