Shifting Distribution of Land Temperature Anomalies, 1951-2020

  • Released Friday, April 23, 2021

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

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

Release date

This page was originally published on Friday, April 23, 2021.
This page was last updated on Tuesday, June 18, 2024 at 12:13 AM EDT.


Datasets used in this visualization

  • GISTEMP [GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP)]

    ID: 585
    Type: ModelSensor: GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP)

    The GISS Surface Temperature Analysis version 4 (GISTEMP v4) is an estimate of global surface temperature change. Graphs and tables are updated around the middle of every month using current data files from NOAA GHCN v4 (meteorological stations) and ERSST v5 (ocean areas), combined as described in our publications Hansen et al. (2010) and Lenssen et al. (2019).

    Credit: Lenssen, N., G. Schmidt, J. Hansen, M. Menne, A. Persin, R. Ruedy, and D. Zyss, 2019: Improvements in the GISTEMP uncertainty model. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 124, no. 12, 6307-6326, doi:10.1029/2018JD029522.

    This dataset can be found at: https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/

    See all pages that use this dataset

Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details, nor the data sets themselves on our site.