“Mapping software reveals health of snowmen and how the population is coping in the face of global warming ”
With global warming high on the international political agenda, mapping software has for the first time been used to reveal the state of health of the global population of snowmen. The new atlas shows how global warming has had an impact on numbers and population health.
According to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, average temperatures have climbed 0.8 degree Celsius around the world since 1880, much of this in recent decades. The 10 warmest years in the 134-year record all have occurred since 2000, with the exception of 1998. 2014 ranks as the warmest on record. The Arctic is feeling the effects the most. Average temperatures in Alaska, western Canada, and eastern Russia have risen at twice the global average, according to the multinational Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report compiled between 2000 and 2004.
In parts of the world where snowfall is expected in the winter months snowmen usually start to appear from December onwards. Christmas is a particularly important time of year for snowmen. However, researchers from the Global Institute of Snowmen Studies (GliSS) have found the global population is in decline and health trends are raising concern.
The latest data reveals that snowmen melt and are showing signs of deterioration much sooner than they were several decades ago. The data has been collected by owls who are used by the researchers to find snowmen, identify them according to type and carry out visual health checks. GlISS researchers have used InstantAtlas to create a dashboard which presents their findings in an easy-to-use and accessible online format.
The dashboard also highlights the impact of further rises in temperature on the global population of snowmen. It was presented to world leaders attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris and is being seen as an important contribution to broadening our understanding of the impact of global warming.
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