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The Creation of Global Imaginaries: The Antarctic Ozone Hole and the Isoline Tradition in the Atmospheric Sciences

Abstract : This historical essay retraces from the perspective of visual and material culture how ways of analyzing and visualizing atmospheric data dramatically affect how scientific phenomena are perceived. The chapter retraces the history of the isoline tradition in the atmospheric sciences. It then explains in detail how NASA scientists reframed the local phenomenon of ozone depletion as a global environmental risk through their use of contour maps, displaying large quantities of global satellite data in synoptic form, coupled with the introduction of a new powerful metaphor: the “ozone hole.”
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Sebastian Grevsmühl. The Creation of Global Imaginaries: The Antarctic Ozone Hole and the Isoline Tradition in the Atmospheric Sciences. Birgit Schneider, Thomas Nocke. Image Politics of Climate Change, Transcript, pp.29-53, 2014, 978-3-8376-2610-0. ⟨hal-01519392⟩

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