But this winter was so snowy! Even yet, it’s only a few degrees cooler than normal. There is no need to worry about the weather in my hometown! As far as climate change denialists go, we’ve heard it all. This stunning representation is sure to terrify some.
We live on a hot planet that’s getting hotter, and the evidence for climate change is overwhelming. And yet, despite the fact that this change is straightforward to document, it can be difficult to get people to see the broader climate trend when they are thinking primarily about the weather they are experiencing individually. The National Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Reading’s Ed Hawkins has produced a stunning new graph that provides a good picture of what’s really going on.
Every month’s temperature change since the 1850s is plotted out in a spiralling spirograph by Hawkin. He also contributed to the IPCC’s 5th climate assessment, which contained numerous dire climate visuals and projections of his own. A more straightforward approach to presenting those same climate data removes the distraction of minute changes while still emphasising an undeniable pattern.
I think there are a lot of changes from month to month and decade to decade,” Hawkins told Gizmodo. As an effort to better understand how we might improve our communication, I tried different approaches of visualising the changes we’ve seen.” There was something compelling and simple about the spiral’s presentation of the information. The rapid pace of change, especially in the last few decades, is readily apparent. Because of this, it’s easy to see how current world temperatures relate to the internationally agreed-upon target limits