Timeline of the Next 80 Years

Cool Worlds is a YouTube channel run by astronomer David Kipping. It mostly deals with, well, astronomy, including speculations that touch on science fiction. This particular video deals with human-caused global warming, comparing two different scenarios and the consequences for global temperatures in time-lapse. Old Edward Tufte might approve of this presentation, and if he didn’t, I do. Check it out:

From Cool Worlds:

“What does the future hold for humanity and our changing climate in the 21st century? Using projections from the IPCC Fifth Report and the climate science literature, we’ve put together a time-lapse showing what may lie ahead. On the left hand side of the screen you’ll see an “optimistic” view, where although we continue to emit carbon dioxide at significant levels, investments in clean energy and mitigation try to curb the damage. On the right hand side, you’ll see a future where humanity emits as much as we please and very little mitigation takes place.

“The data presented in this video are a projection of the 21st century. We used two of the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP), presented in the IPCC Fifth Report, as plausible scenarios – although these are not strictly forecasts. Seasonal variations were added using a stochastic generator conditioned upon observed seasonal variability reported by NASA GISS. Similarly, seasonal variability in carbon dioxide levels were simulated based on historical seasonal variations about a moving average predicted using the RCP models. Special thanks to Gavin Schmidt for advice during the course of this video production.”


Something new from another favorite weather videographer, Mike Olbinski. It’s in black & white, a choice that ends up surprisingly effective for some truly spectacular storm structure.

I’m not sure about the choice of music, “The Way You Do” by Bullet and Cass, but it occurs to me that it could be something of a secret Valentine for his spouse as well as a more obvious comment on the endless spectacle of the sky.