July 14, 2010 – Original Source: Telegraph, UK
The impact of climate change on the earth has been illustrated by an interactive map launched by ministers and scientists
It illustrates rising water levels and reduced crop yields in different parts of the world if temperatures are not curbed by cutting greenhouse gases.
The launch of the map by the Foreign Office (FCO) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) comes in the wake of the “climategate” row over emails stolen from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit and the sustained attack it prompted on scientific research into man-made global warming.
Government chief scientist Professor John Beddington said there was “no doubt there is a problem in public confidence in climate change”.
Between November last year and February this year, the number of people who thought climate change was not happening had increased and the number who thought it was man-made had fallen.
The map, which will be updated as new data becomes available, features videos of scientists talking about the research behind the potential impacts of climate change and information about work undertaken by the Foreign Office and British Council.
Climate change minister Greg Barker said politicians had a responsibility to help make it easy for people to take action on climate changes.
And he said: “A lot of this is about the tone – there was a slight sense the climate community, and politicians are a large part of that, got what was coming to it.
“It was being a little too preachy, had a little bit of a high moral tone.”
He said people did not need to deal in absolutes to make a strong case for action on climate change and it was in the UK’s long-term interest to lead the way on the move to a low carbon economy.
Ed Parsons from Google said: “This is a great example of the benefits of using the latest web technology to visualise scientific information and promote better understanding of the potential impacts of climate change.”
The online map is available, for people who have Google Earth installed, at: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/global-issues/climate-change/priorities/science/