To really understand climate change, we need to see the big picture. This beautiful globe is an animated climate model, made to help scientists figure out what the eff is going on.
This particular model (which you can see in all its mesmerizing glory at 8:33) shows many atmospheric particles moving around the globe. The reddish-orange is dust streaming off the Sahara; the white is pollution from burning coal and volcanoes; the red dots are fires; and the blue swirls are sea salt whipped into the air by the wind.
All those swirling particles affect our climate. “There are so many different factors at work,” says climate scientist Gavin Schmidt. "Everything from how light travels through the atmosphere to how the winds move the ocean around to how rain hits the ground has an effect on what actually happens on Earth both now and in the future."