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This new climate GIF is fun until you remember it shows the end of the world

In May, Brad Plumer wrote about a climate GIF created by University of Reading scientist Ed Hawkins. It had gone viral, at least in the small world of online climate change obsessives. (Hi.)

Scientists got the message: Y’all like clever gifs. So now there’s a new set of spiral GIFs, inspired by Hawkins, from scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the Australian-German Climate & Energy College. (Hat tip to Megan Darby over at Climate Home.)

This is my favorite. It shows what remains of our carbon budget — the amount of carbon dioxide we can still dump into the atmosphere before we lock in temperatures above our purported targets:

spiral gif
Might be time to act.
(spiral gifs)

Notice, as the line swings around the circle, it gains speed as the rate of carbon emissions rises and rises. And it is still rising today, despite all the world’s efforts to address it. The line is moving faster and faster.

That’s where we are — rocketing toward failure, with no sign of the precipitous deceleration necessary to restrain temperatures to safe levels. Whee!

More on the dismal math of carbon budgets here.

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