Breathing Earth

Need a quick summary of how our earth is changing? Do you like strange background music and outdated websites? If so, Breathing Earth is for you!

Check it out:

Breathing Earth is a simulation of real-time changes to earth’s carbon dioxide emissions and human population.  While there are many interactive websites that show facts and statistical information about carbon dioxide emissions, this website makes understanding the intensity of our CO2 outputs more relatable.  Instead of counting outputs per year, outputs are measured in real time.  While there are facts regarding specific county’s emissions and populations, the first numbers the websites show are for the entire planet.  This is important because, as they mention in the text below the map, emissions are a global issue: emissions do not just effect their country of origin.

Breathing Earth is significant to our course because it illustrates some of the anthropogenic alterations to the planet’s atmosphere.

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It’s obvious that this page has not been updated for a while (although it’s been copyrighted through 2015).  While the website creators mention that approximations may be too low, I am not surprised as their population data is five years old and their emissions data is NINE years old.  It would be interesting for them to alter their data to see how much faster our population and emissions are increasing (or perhaps decreasing, depending upon the country?).

Overall, I’d say the concept of this website is great: it’s simple and easy to understand, yet still gets the point across.   However, if you’re looking for an interactive, up to date map with some more detail, I would suggest (See Dan’s post below!).

Do you think it’s worth keeping simple maps like this when there are complex, interactive maps that have more info?


Maps can show the world…as it really is

 Maps are boring, right? But you’ve never seen maps like this before, ones that can animate the increasing world’s population. Globalization, migration, poverty, diseases, all in the map above. Countries in the world  grow or shrink over time depending on what parts of the are population hot spots. The shows the world’s population from 1950 to 2100 (using estimates from the UN). The population around 2100 is expected to level out around 10 billion people, according to UN estimates.

The map animation is made using an algorithm that distorts the map to display where most of the people in the world actually are.IT really puts into perspective different global events, and uses maps in ways people have never imagined.Dr. Benjamin D. Hennig at the University of Sheffield created this animation using animations from a website called World Mapper (

World Mapper distorts the traditional world map to display things like world leaders in car exports, cases of malaria, CO2 emissions, and plenty more. Check out the different ones they have, here.  Worldmapper has been used different university studies and by presenters who want to their audience a sense for how the world is on a map, in relation to a specific issue. Here is an animation, for example, of the world’s countries that emitted CO2 between 2006 and 2009 (on right).

You can gauge just from looking at it, which countries are the biggest and smallest in the world. Notice how the United States, China, India, and most of Europe are emitted heavily.

You can also see a slight shift in CO2 emissions on the left side of the world that suggests decreased emissions. China and most of Asia increase their emissions.

Check out more maps on World Mapper. Get educated…while being interested.