NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Goddard Institute for Space Studies
Still from NASA's latest time-lapse video depicting the inexorable warming of Mother Earth over half a century.

Video: Watch Climate Change and Drought Happen Before Your Eyes


With extreme cold enveloping so much of Turtle Island, the concept of global warming may be the furthest thing from everyone’s minds. But weather is not the same thing as climate, NASA scientists and other experts often point out.

This first video below shows in sobering time-lapse the incontrovertible rise in global temperatures since 1950. In 2013 the average temperature was 58.3 degrees Fahrenheit globally, which is 1.1 degrees warmer than the baseline of the mid-20th century, NASA said in a statement. Temperatures have risen a total of 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, according to an analysis released in January by NASA.

"Long-term trends in surface temperatures are unusual and 2013 adds to the evidence for ongoing climate change," said climatologist Gavin Schmidt in the statement from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. "While one year or one season can be affected by random weather events, this analysis shows the necessity for continued, long-term monitoring."

A recent video look at the United Nations’ global climate change predictions shows what the future may hold.

RELATED: Scary Video by NASA Brings U.N. Climate Change Predictions to Life

The first video below illustrates how we got to this point, temperature-wise. Underneath it is one about the California drought, with some possible explanations. Perhaps surprisingly to some, climate change is not considered to be the cause of this drought. Such occurrences would be happening regardless of climate change and could in future be exacerbated by them, NASA says in the second video. But the changing climate is not the underlying cause. 

View both videos for a glimpse into how the phenomena of climate and weather fit together and, yes, work in tandem—while not being the same thing.

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