iPad App Illuminates Climate Change Disruptions

It can be difficult to wrap your head around the concept of climate change to really understand what effect it can have on our environment. But a new app from Red Hill Studios illustrates the unfolding impacts of  climate change right on Apple’s iPad tablet.

A simple swipe of the app can show how glaciers have shrunk in numerous locations throughout the world and how coastlines have been effected by floods and droughts due to rising temperatures. Those who download the app can even see how climate change—driven, scientists say, by human activities such as burning fossil fuels—is disrupting the timing of natural events such as flower buds opening.

image via Red Hill Studios

“It’s very hard for people to really appreciate long term events—our brains are not wired that way,” Red Hill Studios creative director Bob Hone said in a statement. “This ‘temporal myopia’ has helped us ignore our impacts on the planet. Fortunately, with digital imagery and high tech satellites, we can extend our time perception to visualize the long term effects of climate change.”

The app is extension of the Exploring Time documentary series and website, supported by the National Science Foundation. The app includes a number of time brushes and special time slicers that allow users to manipulate photographic sequences. Users can see 17 different time sequences showing the visual impacts of climate change, in addition to an About Climate Change multimedia summary and a tutorial on the topic.

Photographer Gary Braasch led the image research for the app, finding illuminating visual examples of how climate change is altering the planet.  “From grade school assemblies to political conferences, I’ve seen how time-series photos of changes to glaciers, coastlines and habitats really can show the effects of rapid climate change.  Now people can experience the transformation of our planet much more directly and tactilely,” Braasch said.

The app is available and free to download in the iTunes store.

Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.

1 Comment

  • Reply March 28, 2012

    Jamie Johnson

    great app – another similar app for energy efficiency.  http://bit.ly/wuHQ1S

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