In the second data representation, I wanted to comment on what the global temperature differences might mean for us. The background image is of a forest being conserved through the Arnold Arboretum. The data layer is a visualization of global surface temperature differences (in celsius) from 1850-2009, compared to an average of temperature during the period of 1960-1990. The circles that climb the tree are scaled proportionally to the temperature differences— and two colors range from cold (at 1850) to warm (at 2009). The layering is to evoke tree ring imagery and at the same time demonstrate the invasiveness of humans in our forests.
Differences around the norm are slight— the lowest is just -.6 and the highest is .5. The trend for the past 40+ years is positive differences from average temperature. While we may not feel these slight changes in our daily life, the trees around us feel them acutely— as well as being affected by constant human disturbance.
As opposed to earlier centuries, now, the healthiest tree species are those that thrive in disturbed areas. This means that our forests are changing— whether from direct human disturbance such as logging and construction, or indirect human disturbance that may cause these slight increases in temperature as well as other changes in the atmosphere that lead to a changed climate.
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