Impacts of Climate Change

Compiled by Monica Bruckner, at SERC and Mark Francek (more info) at Central Michigan University.

Find animations, videos, pictures, and graphs about projections of future climate change and evidence of current changes.

Click here to browse the complete set of Visualization Collections (more info) .

Glaciers, Ice Sheets, and Ice Caps 

NOVA - If the Ice Melts (more info) This website, from PBS's NOVA, provides pictures of the consequences of sea level rise due to melting ice from climate change on the coastal US.
NASA Ice Albedo Movie ( This site may be offline. ) With an albedo of up to 80 percent or more, snow-covered terrain reflects most of the earth's incoming solar radiation back into space, cooling the lower atmosphere. When snow cover melts, the albedo drops suddenly to less than about 30 percent, allowing the ground to absorb more solar radiation, heating the earth's surface and lower atmosphere. This short animation demonstrates the effect of melting ice on albedo.

Tour of the Cryosphere ( This site may be offline. ) This 7-minute animation leads viewers across the icy reaches of Antarctica, the shrinking ice cap around the North Pole, and other frozen, terrestrial regions of the globe. It conveys the interconnectedness of the cryosphere and impact of climate change on the Earth system.

Glacier Photograph Collection (more info) These repeat photographs (also known as glacier pairs) are of special interest to scientists studying glaciers and climate. Glacier photographs taken from the same vantage point, but years apart in time, can reveal dramatic changes in the glacier terminus position, as a glacier either advances or retreats. Most glaciers around the world have retreated at unprecedented rates over the last century. These pairs of photographs can provide striking visual evidence of climate change.

NOVA - Extreme Ice (more info) This one-hour program is divided into 6 parts which can be watched individually or as a set. The chapters document ice loss across the world due to climate change with focuses on Alaska, Greenland, and Antarctica.

Greenhouse Effect 

Greenhouse Gas Molecules (more info) This page, from Beloit College, uses a Java application to allow users to view and rotate greenhouse gas molecules. Users may choose to view the molecule as a ball and/or stick model or a spacefill model.

NCAR - The Greenhouse Effect ( This site may be offline. ) This short animation demonstrates how greenhouse gases affect temperatures as a function of solar radiation.


NASA Cloud Albedo Animation ( This site may be offline. ) Clouds greatly affect the Earth's solar energy balance. This animation shows how they deflect a portion of solar energy influx from reaching our planet's surface and how they insulate to prevent a total loss of thermal radiance out into space.

General Information and Collections 

National Center for Atmospheric Research, Scientific Computing Division: Visualization (more info) This web page displays computer visualizations of various weather and atmospheric-related research projects at the Scientific Computing Division (SCD) of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). It also has sections describing the work that the SCD does. The subjects of research described here includesclimate systems (global warming, sulfate aerosol evolution and Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC-11) penetration into the deep ocean); severe storms (forest fires, cyclones, mesoscale convective vortex, typhoon Herb, and supercell lightning simulations); solar magnetic flux tubes and penetrative turbulent compressible convection, El Nino and La Nina, ozone, the polar vortex and atmospheric chemistry.

NCAR - Visualization and Enabling Technologies Section (VETS) (more info) This site hosts several visualizations involving climate change and is an index page for visualization collections/labs, software, reports & publications, collaborations, and events.