Of the challenges surrounding global climate change, communicating its potential impact and increasing public awareness of the scientific research undertaken to monitor and model its effect on society are quite pressing.

Today we are pleased that the British Government is launching with Google Earth Outreach, and in collaboration with the Met Office Hadley Centre and the British Antarctic Survey, new layers in Google Earth that utilize geographical information to show how climate change will affect our planet and its people.

The Met Office Hadley Centre has produced a layer which illustrates their future temperature modeling, showing an animation of temperature change over the next hundred years and its impact to particular parts of the world.

The scientists of the British Antarctic Survey have developed a layer which details how they monitor and measure the effects of climate change in Antarctica, featuring stunning images that show the retreat of the ice from this environmentally-sensitive continent.

Featured on our Google Earth Outreach Showcase, which provides more than 100 examples of KML content telling stories about our planet, are these two layers:
Climate Change in Our World and Climate Change in Our World, Antarctica. These two KML files offer a unique distillation of informed, scientific and geographically-organized information demonstrating the commitment by the British Government to continue to carry out this important climate research and to communicate the results of the research by making this information readily accessible.

Update (5/20, 4pm): You can view Prime Minister Brown's announcement of this initiative: