Thursday, February 25, 2021

The Stars & Warming Stripes

In 2018 Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Reading, released a powerful data visualization to illustrate how temperatures have risen around the globe over the last century. His visualization used colored stripes to show the average annual temperatures for every year of the last century. This type of data graphic is now commonly known as a 'climate stripes' visualization.

You can view the climate stripes of every U.S. state using the Stars & Warming Stripes visualization. Select a state from the drop-down menu and you can see the climate warming stripes which show how average yearly temperatures in the state have changed over the last 115 years. The visualization includes an option to view a scatter plot superimposed on top of the state's climate warming stripes.

You can also create warming stripes for each state and for other regions and countries around the world from Ed Hawkins' own #ShowYourStripes website. Select a region and then a country from the drop-down menu on #ShowYourStripes and you can view and download an image showing how temperatures have risen over the last 100+ years at your selected location.

Global warming stripes are a very powerful way to visualize a complex issue with one simple and easy to understand image. The general progress from blue to redder stripes is both visually striking and very hard to dispute. The temperature data used for creating the stripes on both Stars & Warming Stripes and from #ShowYourStripes come from the Berkeley Earth temperature dataset and from a number of national meteorological agencies.

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