There seems to be a mild proliferation lately of cool online weather and climate toys to play with. I quite like the Ocean Currents Map I recently mentioned here, and now comes two more visualization gadgets to help hone your procrastination skills. The more alarming one is a Rising Seas interactive map from National Geographic that shows where the land will and won’t be once the polar ice caps have finished melting.
As you can see in the image up top, all of Florida and the U.S. south and Gulf coasts will be underwater. Another interesting feature is that Australia will be blessed with a large inland sea.
Meanwhile, there’s an Earth Wind Map that offers up a truly global perspective in real time of what the world’s winds are up to. It is considerably more interactive than the Rising Seas map, as you can zoom in and out, rotate the globe, and even get pinpoint surface-wind readings by clicking on any particular spot.
For example, during my tour of the world this morning, I found the windiest spot on the planet (at 57 knots) was this patch of the North Atlantic, where a nice winter storm is howling away south of Greenland.
For ocean sailors, of course, it is tempting to try to use these sorts of real-time toys, which channel current computer modeling data, as planning tools, but one should be a bit circumspect about this. In my correspondence with Rich Signell, one of the creators of the Ocean Currents Map, he warned me in no uncertain terms that the map was not intended to be used for navigational purposes.
But then that’s what they always say, isn’t it?