More Intuitive Ways of Looking at Climate Data

 Climate trend graph
[Original source; Hat Tip – OIIFTG]

I really like this graph for two reasons:

  1. It does a great job representing the current warming trend over time (i.e. there is little confusion over statements like, “Yea, but I always hear it was this warm/cold back in yadda-year”).  It becomes obvious that the closer to the present, the more likely it is to be warm.
  2. It does an equally great job at providing an intuitive representation of both natural and analytical variability in the data. For example, earlier dates have larger bars, thus indicating to the viewer that they are “less certain” than more recent years.  Also, not all the individual colours group together, providing another intuitive sense for the natural variability in climate.

And all this, without having to show a normally messy time series of temperature.

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Dave Semeniuk spends hours locked up in his office, thinking about the role the oceans play in controlling global climate, and unique ways of studying it. He'd also like to shamelessly plug his art practice: