Impact of a global temperature rise of 4 deg C.

Today sees the launch of a new Google Earth layer that will allow you to see the impacts of an average rise in global temperatures of 4 degrees Celsius, building on a successful interactive map that was launched last year.

The Google Earth map was developed using the latest peer-reviewed science from the Met Office Hadley Centre and other leading impact scientists and highlights some of the impacts that may occur if the global average temperature rises by 4 °C above the pre-industrial climate average.

Screen shot of the Google Earth layer showing the impacts of a rise in global temperature of 4 degrees C

The impacts of an average temperature rise of 4 deg C

Using climate simulations from the Met Office Hadley Centre the layer shows that a four degree average rise will not be spread uniformly across the globe. The land will heat up more quickly than the sea, and high latitudes, particularly the Arctic, will have larger temperature increases. The average land temperature will be 5.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

If greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, global average temperatures could increase by 4°C by the end of the century, and possibly as early as 2060.  This new mapping onto Google Earth illustrates some of the potential impacts of such a rise. It uses the latest climate and impacts science to highlight the consequences of not reducing emissions.

The Met Office has also produced a map showing the impacts if average global temperatures are limited to a 2 deg C rise. The Met Office has also produced a Google Earth layer called Climate Change in our World that explores our changing climate and it’s impacts over the next 100 years.

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