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This Is What It Looks Like When The Earth Breathes

What happens when we run out of air?

Since it is May 2016, let’s take a look at a snapshot of our planet from one year ago. The white snowcaps of winter are still present, but giving way to green and brown colors of the impending summer. Then let’s zoom out and look at the whole of 2015—the year at a glance throughout the seasons. Everything looks pretty standard for our current climate situation at this point in the 21st century, but what happens if we sprint forward to the 22nd one, when Earth’s temperature is on course to raise more than 2 degrees celsius? The answer, as you can imagine, is straight up terrifying.

And now a bit about how we did it. The first part of this video is made using unaltered composite satellite images from NASA. The second part uses those same images combined with data from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) regarding projected warming of Earth and the shrinking arctic ice cap. The combination of NASA and GFDL data produces the remarkable effect you see in this video, which is essentially the world breathing air produced by plant life living in fragile eco-systems across the planet. Ecosystems that are in danger of disappearing completely.

The signing of the Paris Agreement is an essential step in addressing this problem, but is only one foot forward in a very long journey ahead.

Written and Directed by Gabriel Reilich
Graphics by Jake Infusino
Music "Wear my Clothes" by KUBA (

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