It's been an excellent year for one thing: climate doom infographics. - Grist


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Always leave them graphing

It’s been an excellent year for one thing: climate doom infographics.

I’m not sure whether that’s because there’s an infographic Renaissance happening across this great land, or because climate change has become so alarming that graphs are extra dramatic.

Check out this Eye of Sauron drawn up by British climate scientist Ed Hawkins:

Ed Hawkins Climate GIF
Ed Hawkins

It shows effects both subtle (the drop in temperature in the 1880s, partly due to the eruption of Krakatoa) and dramatic (the accelerated rise in the 1990s, back when I thought the biggest problems in the world were that music sucked and grownups were jerks).

Aesthetically, though, I’m partial to this doom graph by Joshua Stevens of NASA, which shows how much hotter our Augusts have gotten over the last century or so. The My Little Pony–style color scheme is particularly inspired.

Joshua Stevens/NASA Earth Observatory

But my favorite is this infographic by Randall Munroe of xkcd, which goes all the way back to the last ice age. This is just a screenshot of the very beginning — you’ll want to click through to get the full goods.


If you like seeing atmospheric peril rendered in interesting and attractive ways, keep an eye on Hawkins, who not only makes good climate graphs, but spots other good ones before anyone else.