Climate Change

How a graph of temperature changes has turned into #ShowYourStripes

Cows are seen on a land that used to be filled with water, at the Aculeo Lagoon in Paine, Chile  January 9, 2019. Picture taken January 9, 2019. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido - RC12E98D2A70

The effects of climate change are being felt across the world. Image: REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido

Sean Fleming
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Climate Change

It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words.

When Ed Hawkins, a professor of climate science at Reading University in the UK, wanted to find the simplest way to tell the story of global warming, he turned to an image.

His climate stripes graphic shows how average temperatures have risen over more than a century, going from dark blue to dark red. It paints a stark and unmistakable picture of how our planet is heating up.

Image: BBC/Ed Hawkins/Reading University

The image has been made available as a download from Prof. Hawkins’ website. And it’s begun to take on a life of its own, appearing on T-shirts and other items of clothing, along with the hashtag #ShowYourStripes.

Someone even painted their Tesla electric car in the climate stripes pattern.


"What I've learnt from this is that you don't need the numbers to get the message across. The colours will do that," Prof. Hawkins told BBC News.


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Climate ChangeFuture of the EnvironmentSustainable Development
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