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See The Shrinking Of The Arctic Through Years Of Redrawn National Geographic Maps

See The Shrinking Of The Arctic Through Years Of Redrawn National Geographic Maps
[Top Photo: Denis Burdin via Shutterstock]

Last week, the Obama administration released the final draft of its controversial Clean Power Plan, which calls for sweeping cuts in carbon emissions from the nation’s power plants. In his speech, the President illustrated the need for such a plan with a reference to how dramatically the National Geographic has had to alter its atlas to reflect the effects of global warming.

“Shrinking ice caps forced National Geographic to make the biggest change in its atlas since the Soviet Union broke apart,” Obama said in his speech last Monday.

National Geographic‘s atlas GIF, showing changes in Arctic sea ice from 1999-2014via National Geographic

Then, the National Geographic responded with an article confirming that fact (Yes, Mr. President, We Remade Our Atlas To Reflect Shrinking Ice) and made a GIF that compiles the maps from 1999 to 2014 to show our melting world. The animation shows how a mass of Arctic sea ice has had to be redrawn throughout the years as it continues to rapidly shrink. The 10th edition of its world atlas is “one of the most striking changes in the publication’s history,” National Geographic‘s Christine Dell’Amore writes.

The article describes the accelerated melting of the Arctic as one big feedback loop: thin ice reflects less than thick ice, which means more sunlight is absorbed by the ocean, warming it even more. According to NASA, the Arctic ice caps have been melting at a rate of 12% per year since as far back as the late 1970s, and even more rapidly since 2007. To map the 2014 atlas, the cartographers took data from a 30-year study by NASA, published in 2012.

But you know, global warming is totally a hoax, or whatever.

MM