Shifting Distribution of Land Temperature Anomalies, 1951-2020

  • Released Friday, April 23rd, 2021
  • Updated Saturday, February 10th, 2024 at 12:14AM
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This visualization shows how the distribution of land temperature anomalies has varied over time. As the planet has warmed, we see the peak of the distribution shifting to the right. The distribution of temperatures broadens as well. This broadening is most likely due to differential regional warming rather than increased temperature variability at any given location.

These distributions are calculated from the Goddard Institute of Space Studies GISTEMP surface temperature analysis. Distributions are determined for each year using a kernal density esitmator, and we morph between those distributions in the animation.

NASA’s full surface temperature data set – and the complete methodology used to make the temperature calculation – are available at: https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp

GISS is a NASA laboratory managed by the Earth Sciences Division of the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The laboratory is affiliated with Columbia University’s Earth Institute and School of Engineering and Applied Science in New York.

The python based Jupyter Notebook used to create these visualizations is available. Click here to download.



Credits

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NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio


Datasets used in this visualization

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