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Watch the climate change in real time with these trackers

These tickers show the unrelenting rise in global temperatures and carbon dioxide.

Earth the planet.
It’s getting hot in here.
NASA/Getty Images
Umair Irfan is a correspondent at Vox writing about climate change, Covid-19, and energy policy. Irfan is also a regular contributor to the radio program Science Friday. Prior to Vox, he was a reporter for ClimateWire at E&E News.

Global warming isn’t something that will happen decades down the line — it’s happening every day, bit by bit.

It’s possible now to actually see the concentration of greenhouse gases and the energy they trap ticking ominously upward in real time.

Brian Kahn at Earther highlighted a clock that shows the rising global warming index:

Global Warming Index

The ticker was built by researchers at the University at Oxford and the University of Leeds, and it’s based on their paper published in Scientific Reports last November that tracks warming due to human activity relative to the pre-industrial era of the mid-19th century.

The Current GWI, steadily ticking upward, represents the amount that burning fossil fuels and other human endeavors have driven up the planet’s temperature, while accounting for natural variations in the climate to isolate humanity’s role. You can dig into all the details on how they made it here.

If you want to step further into the rising tide, there’s another, more frenetic ticker from the University of Oxford showing the rise in greenhouse gases, counting up toward humanity’ trillionth metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions:

Trillionth Tonne

In 2015, Bloomberg published a carbon clock that measures rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. (The team also helpfully published the methodology behind their calculations.)


And if you want to see how we got here, the death slinky has you covered:

Kevin Pluck