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Visualizing a History of CO2

Posted on 28 February 2011 by robert way

NOAA has put together a video which allows us to visually see the history of CO2 over the last 600,000 years. Upon seeing this video I began to think that it would be nice to put music in the background to compliment the video but there arose a problem with what song would be best for this endeavor.

After much deliberations I decided to go with the song "Mind Heist" from the movie "Inception". As I had never done anything like this before there was a bit of a learning curve but using Windows Movie Maker and Moyea's FLV to Video Converter I was able to create my first Youtube video.

The steps taken were as follows:

(1) Download Mind Heist
(2) Download the History of CO2 from Youtube
(3) Convert the movie from flash into a Windows Movie Maker compatible format
(4) Add Music
(5) Alter the speed of the movie so the timing lines up

The Result?

Movies are a great way to translate the latest climate science to the general public. Peter Sinclair has shown that these videos can become wildly popular as well as entertaining. Adding these tools to our repertoire only strengthens our ability to educate and inform the general public on climate and environmental issues. 

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Comments 1 to 18:

  1. Beautiful!
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  2. Very cool Rob!.
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  3. Brilliant!
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  4. The obligatory link to a previous post by Riccardo showing the normal zone of correlation between CO2 and temperature proxy/instrumental record vs. the current values. (CO2 doesn't always lag temperature)
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  5. CO2 didn't rise between 1980 and 1990! If you look at the CO2 amount in February 1980 and June 1980 at about 85N you clearly see a fall, yet your graph on the left hides the decline! I should write this up for WUWT.
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  6. @MarkR I had to laugh at your post! Very funny. You have picked the only two points out of hundreds that could be miss understood if you ignore all the other results and obsess on just those two data points. I guess that is what it takes to be contrary when the data is presented so clearly. I do think you should write it up for WUWT. It belongs their and matches what that site is on about. What is so good about the graph in this video form is that it shows the natural seasonal cycle of the earth with the great line of intake at about 85N of CO2 and release of CO2 as the line of trees that stretch right around the world just south of the tundra lose and then regrow their leaves each autumn and spring. The CO2 signal from this regular event is unmistakeable that is unless you have a bent for obfuscation. We may end up having to use this kind of process of natural seasonal uptake of CO2 and then by a massive effort char as much as we possibly can of the waste leaves to draw down the CO2 if the contrary ones succeed in delaying effective CO2 reduction action and we over shoot what CO2 levels our planet can handle. The garden and domestic waste could be charred to similar effect. Of course coal would need to be completely stopped to make it worth while. Well done by the way for spotting the over lap. Even after 10 years of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels it matches just one seasonal fluctuation in the natural cycle at 85N. The graph very clearly shows we are at the very top of CO2 levels in the last 600,000 years. Human appearing ancestors only appeared in Africa about 200,000 years ago. Full behavioural modernity only appeared 50,000 years ago.
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  7. What's particularly good about this video is it clearly demonstrates not only how CO2 has been rising since pre-industrial times, but that the current level is unprecedented. None of the measurements going back 600,000 years exceed 300ppm. But we are now close to 400ppm. How do deniers explain that?
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  8. Impressive, Robert! You've taken my favorite climate animation graphic and have improved upon it by adding the dimension of sound to those of color and motion. Inspiring effort! @ Dennis (7) As an FYI (in case some want an exact number), the maximum CO2 levels in the ice core data is 298.7 PPM, IIRC. The Yooper
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  9. Robert-- fantastic work! Is there any way to freeze that last images for a few seconds? Just to let the message really sink in? i found it cutting away immediately also a little anti-climatic. wish I had the skills to do this kind of stuff.
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  10. Thanks for doing this; I think it will perk the students up when this is shown in class, or embedded in a course page.
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  11. Robert - that's terrific! Second Alb's suggestion of freezing the last frame. Do you take requests? Carbontracker set to the standard for scary music: O Fortuna!
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  12. Hey all, Thank you for the kind words. I agree with the ending being slightly anti-climatic and I was trying to fix that. I'm only learning how to do some of these things so hopefully as I progress I will be able to fix some of these issues. O Fortuna would be interesting certainly :P
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  13. How about the theme from Benny Hill? It would help point out the craziness of what we are doing to the climate.
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  14. Nicely done! And, oh, what the heck... Here is another creative use of Mind Heist/Inception as the score to a video. :-p
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  15. I like! [two thumbs up!]
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  16. Very, very cool! This is one of the few examples I've seen in the the climate debate blogosphere that successfully combines information and entertainment. I think we need more stuff like this to appeal to a broader audience. I just hope, nobody will be bothering you demanding royalties for Mind Heist.
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  17. Loved the music. Scientifically, why not include the "Big Picture"?
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  18. The lowest estimates of Mesozioc CO2 I've ever seen (Breeker et al 2010)are on the order of 1000ppm. Maybe the music went to their heads a little towards the end. The truth is hard enough without embellishment.
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