Climate Change Impact Filter

Sey Min
8 min readApr 6, 2020


We are aware of climate changes. We are aware of the gravity of global warming and how melting glaciers cause polar bears to starve. As we all know, if the Earth’s temperature continues to rise at this pace, the Earth’s ecosystem will soon be destroyed. But awareness of the problem does not always mean understanding the impact. In other words, we may know climate change is an important issue, but we may not fully understand how it will change our lives.

Media and researches on climate change warn us how fast our planet will be devastated. Some investigations recommend solutions to delay the pace of climate change as much as we can, but many of us can not imagine how global temperature rising merely 2.0 degrees will change our ordinary lives and surroundings. Taking a closer look at climate change impacts, this project, “ Climate Change Impact Filter” shows what we might lose when the temperature rises.

Bumblebees disappearing at rates ‘consistent with mass extinction’ as climate changes. University of Ottawa | February 6, 202

According to Scientific Reports (vol. 14464), with the global temperature rising 2 °C , the population of bumblebee decreases by 90%. Bumblebees are the most effective pollinators for crops like tomato, squash, and berries, meaning we will lose tomato, squash and berries with decrease of bumblebees.

“ Climate Change Impact Filter” project shows the present and future of global warming. Images of foods, animals, plants, insects, and artificial objects on the screen mean “what we have now”. We selected species that are most affected by global warming based on scientific research. Images crawled from the Internet are shown by dimensionality reduction after feature analysis through an image classification model. A total of 12,288 images from 62 species of insects, birds, reptiles, mammals, plants, marine life, and anthropocene are clustered and disappear with changes in the global temperature. We know that mass extinctions caused by climate change are entirely due to human activity. From this perspective, the user control of the Earth temperature slider in this visualization represents human influence on nature.

[impact policies]
After reviewing several papers and articles, I realized that there is not single metadata of how each species is affected by climate change. So we decided to gather the necessary information piece by piece and create an “impact policies” spreadsheet. It contains detailed descriptions of the extinction rates for 62 species of 7 categories. This information, found in 20 scientific research papers and articles about climate change, explains how each species is going extinct and what will happen in the future. This research was led by Kani Kim.

This data set is available here.

Image data used for this project was gathered from Google. We first assembled a list of search words from the “ClimateChangeImpactFilter_DATA” spreadsheet. The list was scraped from Google using iCrawler, with ‘commercial, modify option’ on to prevent any possible copyright infringement. Collected Images were checked for duplicate, inaccurate, and inappropriate contents. After security check, images were resized and cropped into 400x400. The result was reviewed to remove images that do not accurately portray the search word we intended. Data crawling was done by Cosmetheus.

Image analysis and feature extraction
12,288 images are projected in 3D space after feature analysis. For feature extraction, we used the image classifier model VGG16 with imageNet applying pre-trained weight. The feature vector of the image was taken from the last fully connected layer just before classification. After feature extraction, each feature vector was reduced to 300 components by the PCA algorithm. Then, using t-sne algorithm, each image produces positional data in relation to its neighbors in 3D space. The process is done with Jihyun Park.

Interaction design
The most interesting aspect of this project’s UX scenario is how to make users experience the human activity as the main cause of global warming and how to create a visual experience of what is going on around us as a result of global warming. To solve these two problems, we decided to design two UX approaches. First, we set a “global temperature slider” that responds only to the user’s control on the screen. The visualization changes only by the user’s slider interaction, which represents “human activity.” Second, the change in the number of images representing the 62 species shown on the screen represents the result of global warming. The result of an increase in the global temperature between 0.0 °C to 3.0 °C is based on scientific research, and between 3.0°C to 5.0°C is an artistic interpretation from the facts. UX/UI design is led by Jae Yeop Kim and JinJae Lee. 3D interaction is developed with Jihyun Park, page optimization is done with Jiha Kim.

- Exploring
: The user can navigate the space by holding down the mouse and moving.(viewpoint changes)
- Global temperature changing
: The user can control the slider on the right from 0.0 ° C to 5.0 ° C. When the temperature exceeds 4.0 ° C, the “IMAGINE” icon is displayed.
- Selecting sub-species
: The user can select sub-species in two ways
1. Double-click on the images on the screen.
2. Select one of the icons from the menu at the top of the screen.
Back to the previous page
: The user can return to
1. the global perspective by clicking “Home” in the top menu.
2. the previous viewpoint by clicking “LEFT_UPPER ARROW” in species mode.

IMAGINE scenario
There are 7 IMAGINE stories with artistic imagination. The stories are about what our lives would be like without bees, birds, alligators, sea lions, barleys, corals, and sharks. The stories and illustrations are developed with Jae Yeop Kim and the Intelligent Interaction Design Lab in Hongik University Department of Industrial Design.

Since the project is mainly based on scientific research (even artists' interpretation expands it wider) we need to get proofreading by experts. The Integrated climate Science lab at Seoul National University helped with proofreading.

According to IPCC’s report, we have just 12 years to limit devastating global warming. To drive our aggressive actions to prevent global warming, we need to understand how the problem affects our daily lives directly. I expect that this visualization helps to increase our attention to climate change by showing a loss.

Climate change is an urgent problem.
It needs our action.

Catherine Sirois-Delisle, “Climate change-driven range losses among bumblebee species are poised to accelerate”, Scientific Reports volume Article number: 14464 (2018)
Sandra M. Rehan, Molecular phylogeny of the small carpenter bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Ceratinini) indicates early and rapid global dispersal, 2010
David Frey, (July 27, 2018) “Climate change threatens Arizona’s mason bees”. Retrieved June 13, 2019
Callum Macgregor, (October 26, 2019) “Climate change is forcing butterflies and moths to adapt — but some species can’t”. Retrieved February 5, 2020
King, D.; Finch, D.M., (June, 2013) “The Effects of Climate Change on Terrestrial Birds of North America”. Retrieved June 10, 2019
Jessica Law, (July 11, 2018) “How will climate change affect bird migration? Our scientists explain”. RetrievedJuly 27, 2019
Jesslyn Shields, (June 9, 2017) “Climate Change Is Causing Tiny Bird Couples to Share More Parenting Duties”. Retrieved December 15, 2019
Brett. R. Scheffers, “The broad footprint of climate change from genes to biomes to people”, Science Vol. 354, Issue 6313, aaf7671 (2016)
Araujo, M.B.; Thuiller, W.; Pearson, R.G. “Climate warming and the decline of amphibians and reptiles in Europe”, Journal of Biogeography 33:1712–1728 (2006)
Wake, D.B., “Climate change implicated in amphibian and lizard declines”, PNAS 104:8201–8202 (2007)
Lee Poston, (January 19, 2010) “Climate Change Threatens to Wipe Out One of World’s Largest Tiger Populations this Century”. Retrieved August 23, 2019
Daisy Dunne, (March 1, 2018) “The number of clashes between people and African lions could increase as temperatures rise, a new study suggests”. Retrieved July 7 2019
Christine Dell’amore, (January 11, 2010) “Global Warming Indigestion May Kill Gorillas, Monkeys”. Retrieved August 28, 2019
Leah Duran, (August 18, 2017) “Climate change spells trouble for orangutans”. Retrieved July 18, 2019
Matt Brunette, “The Impact of Climate Change on Chimpanzees”. Retrieved January 22, 2020
J.A. Learmonth, “Potential Effects Of Climate Change On Marine Mammals”, Oceanography and marine biology 44:431–464 (2007)
Wendy Foden, “Quiver Trees and Climate Change”, IUCN SSC Southern African Plant Specialist Group (2009)
Susan Scutti, (May 7, 2019) “Climate change is helping spread a fungus that attacks bananas”. Retrieved July 3, 2019
Michon Scott, (February 10, 2016) “Climate & Chocolate”. Retrieved July 8, 2019
Dengpan Xiao, “Impact of Future Climate Change on Wheat Production: A Simulated Case for China’s Wheat System”, Sustainability 10(4):1277 (2018)
Jeremy Hodges, (Octorber 8, 2018) “Food Crops From Corn to Rice Are Seen at Risk From Warmer Change”. Rtrieved July 10, 2019
Justin Worland, (June 21, 2018) “Your Morning Cup of Coffee Is in Danger. Can the Industry Adapt in Time?”. Retrieved July 9, 2019
Fanny Douvere, (June 23, 2017) “Assessment: World Heritage coral reefs likely to disappear by 2100 unless CO2 emissions drastically reduce”. Retrieved August 4, 2019
Elvira S. Poloczanska, “Global imprint of climate change on marine life”, Nature Climate Change volume 3, pages 919–925 (2013)
Brett. R. Scheffers, “The broad footprint of climate change from genes to biomes to people”, Science 11 Nov 2016: Vol. 354, Issue 6313, aaf7671 (2016)
Alison Kanski, (July 10, 2015) “Sharks Face a Growing Threat in Warming and Acidic Seas”. Retrieved January 16, 2019
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, “THE STATE OF WORLD FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE”, THE STATE OF THE WORLD series (2018)
Bob Berwyn, (November 29, 2018) “Warning for Seafood Lovers: Climate Change Could Crash These Important Fisheries”. Retrieved February 25, 2020
Jordan A. Hollarsmith, “Effects of seasonal upwelling and runoff on water chemistry and growth and survival of native and commercial oysters” Limnology and Oceanography, 2019; DOI: 10.1002/lno.11293 (2019)
Douglas Palmer, (August 21, 2019) “Mussels could ‘tough out’ climate change”. Retrieved February 2020
Rick Leblanc, (October 22, 2019) “The Decomposition of Waste in Landfills”. Retrieved December 17, 2019

project director & data visualization artist : Sey Min (,
climate change researcher : Kani Kim
data crawling & structure design : Cosmetheus
ML-based data analysis & visualization : Sey Min, Jihyun Park
web development: Sey Min, JinJae Lee, Jihyun Park
UX/UI design:
Jae Yeop Kim , JinJae Lee, Intelligent Interaction Design Lab in Hongik University Department of Industrial Design
IMAGINE. development :
Jae Yeop Kim, Intelligent Interaction Design Lab in Hongik University Department of Industrial Design
scientific proofreading :
The Integrated climate Science lab at Seoul National University



Sey Min

data visualization, machine learning, creativity in social dimension.