In one terrifying GIF.

(National Geographic)

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 percent between 1965 and 2012, which can drastically alter weather around the world.

National Geographic has a video explaining their mapping process.

This post originally appeared on Quartz, an Atlantic partner site.

More from Quartz:

Hollywood Isn’t Even Trying to Include More Women. New Data Make It Clear.

Tony Blair Thinks the British Labour Party Is Destroying Itself

To Fix the U.S. Prison System, Give Every Inmate the Daily Newspaper

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: South Korean soldiers attempt to disinfect the sidewalks of Seoul's Gagnam district in response to the spread of COVID-19.
    Coronavirus

    Pandemics Are Also an Urban Planning Problem

    Will COVID-19 change how cities are designed? Michele Acuto of the Connected Cities Lab talks about density, urbanization and pandemic preparation.  

  2. Equity

    The Last Daycares Standing

    In places where most child cares and schools have closed, in-home family daycares that remain open aren’t seeing the demand  — or the support — they expected.

  3. Coronavirus

    A Green Stimulus Plan for a Post-Coronavirus Economy

    A group of U.S. economists, academics and policymakers say the Covid-19 pandemic is an opportunity to fix the economy — and the planet — for the long term.

  4. photo: a For Rent sign in a window in San Francisco.
    Coronavirus

    Do Landlords Deserve a Coronavirus Bailout, Too?

    Some renters and homeowners are getting financial assistance during the economic disruption from the coronavirus pandemic. What about landlords?

  5. An African healthcare worker takes her time washing her hands due to a virus outbreak/.
    Coronavirus

    Why You Should Stop Joking That Black People Are Immune to Coronavirus

    There’s a fatal history behind the claim that African Americans are more resistant to diseases like Covid-19 or yellow fever.

×