This week I traveled to Glasgow to attend the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly known as COP26. This was made possible by the generous support by the School of Geographical Sciences and the Cabot Institute for the Environment that provided additional funding to allow me to produce a new visualisation of what is at stake at COP26.

I am using my new engine to display two CMIP6 ensemble mean projections for the rest of this century. One, that is consistent with the Paris goal to limit global mean surface warming in 2100 to about 1.5 °C (ssp119), and another that roughly follows current climate policies leading to a global mean warming of nearly 3 °C (ssp245). Both worlds are shown as 3D globes side-by-side with linked cameras/controls. This intuitive interface allows users to easily understand and compare the regional consequences of global climate targets. The warming stripes at the bottom are interactive and can be used to easily navigate through time. A screenshot and short demo video are below, the interactive version is available at

The visualisation was also featured in this weeks epiosode of BBC’s “Science in Action” programme where Dan Lunt and I met with Roland Pease to discuss the current climate emergency in the context of past, natural climate change.

Screenshot of the COP26 app comparing two CMIP6 scenarios.

Public vs. scientific sessions

I presented the new interactive site in the COP Green Zone, which is more like a public science fair than a climate conference. This was great in terms of diverse audiences that tried the app (it was a big hit with school classes), but unfortunately, I could not identify a single politican wandering around the exhibition space.

Some impressions from the COP26 Green Zone exhibition space. Images by Sebastian Steinig.

Luckily, I was able to sneak some of the visuals into the actual scientific sessions in the COP Blue Zone, where the actual policymakers were :).