During his announcement of the most sweeping reform to fight climate change last week (Aug. 2), President Obama mentioned how cartographers had to change their maps to reflect global warming’s effect on our planet.
“Shrinking ice caps forced National Geographic to make the biggest change in its atlas since the Soviet Union broke apart,” he said. National Geographic confirmed the change and created a stunning GIF that shows the rapid reduction of the Arctic ice cap, drawn from their atlases between 1994 and 2014. (The image above is used with National Geographic’s permission.)
Mapping the fluctuating Arctic sea ice is tricky, but this year the ice cap’s extent hit one record low after another. Arctic ice has thinned 65% between 1965 and 2012, which can drastically alter weather around the world.
National Geographic has a video explaining their mapping process.