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Google Earth app shows effects of climate change

British government-led effort uses Google Earth to project temperature changes and Arctic ice loss over next 100 years.

The Met Office Hadely Center, British Antarctic Survey, and the U.K. government on Monday introduced a Google Earth application that visualizes the anticipated temperatures changes from climate change over the next 100 years.

The Northern hemisphere today in 2008. Click on the image to download the animation Google Earth

The animation uses a color scheme to show the differences in temperatures layed over a Google Earth image.

People can also click on icons on the image to get more on how the data was compiled, stories from people affected by climate change, and information on the projected regional impact of climate change.

The initiative was launched by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the Google Zeitgeist conference on Monday.

A projection from the same perspective 50 years from now, showing the highest temperature change (red) in the Arctic. Google Earth

vnunet quoted British Environment Secretary Hilary Benn saying that the collaboration was done to help people understand climate change better.

"This project shows the reality of climate change using estimates of the change in the average temperature where they live, and the impact it will have on people's lives all over the world, including here in Britain," he said, according to the vnunet report.

"By helping people to understand what climate change means for them and for the world we can mobilize the commitment we need to avoid the worst effects by taking action now."

Updated on May 21 5:00 am PT with correct gender for Hilary Benn.