The Earth is hot! The Earth is cold! NASA videos play both sides

Color visualizations show the warming of the Earth as well as the cold temperatures of January

I'm typing this on the eve of another giant snowstorm about to hit the Northeast, where we're also coming off the big "polar vortex" cold temperatures from a few weeks ago. Just looking at this picture makes me want to go put on a sweater.

BrrColdNASA590.jpg

So, NASA, let's see a video about how the Earth is getting warmer! According to NASA, the year 2013 "tied for the seventh warmest of any year since 1880," and the following video shows "a running five-year average global temperature, as compared to a baseline average global temperature from 1951-1980." The video was created by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.

Speaking of the polar vortex, check out this video from the "VideoFromSpace" channel, in which the "weather phenomenon that brought frigid temperatures to the United States in the first week of 2014 was probed by NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft." You'll never think of the color purple as warm again.

By the way, I don't want to get into a discussion about whether global warming is real or not. I just thought it was interesting that NASA-related video channels would post videos showing a cold Earth and a hot Earth on the same day. But if you want to debate global warming in the comments area with other readers, feel free. I'll be outside shoveling.

Keith Shaw rounds up the best in geek video in his ITworld.tv blog. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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