Air Temperature Global Climate Animations

About Global Climate Animations

The animations on this page show the climatology of the seasonal cycle for selected climate variables for the time period 1959-1997.  The individual frames in each animation show the map pattern of the long-term average of a particular monthly climate variable.  When these frames are displayed in a loop, they reveal the temporal and spatial variations in that variable over the seasonal cycle. 

The animations are used as teaching tools in climatology and global environmental change courses to visualize the seasonal variations of, and interactions among a set of climate variables that describe the surface water and energy balances, temperature, and atmospheric circulation. 

Another motivation for developing these animations was to bring research approaches and data sets into the classroom, in order to illustrate some of the emerging techniques for visualizing how the climate system works, and why it varies.

In order minimize problems of viewing the animations across a range of web browsers, they are presented as both animated .gif files, and as Flash animations with controls.  The individual images were constructed using web-safe colors.

Data used to create these images are from the NCEP/NCAR 40-Year Reanalysis Project.

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