Climate researchers have a problem. A degree or two of global warming simply isn’t scary. When Hollywood created “The Day After Tomorrow”, the cold snap allegedly triggered by global warming was by far the most deadly threat faced by the heroes.
So Ed Hawkins, a professor at University of Reading, has ditched boring old graphs, and created an animated graphic which attempts to maximise the emotional impact of global warming data.
A good artistic effort – the scary spiral thing seems to leap straight out of the page at you. But is the choice of data range reasonable? I would suggest not – most people would be hard pressed to tell whether temperature in a room had changed by one or two degrees.
So how does it look when you represent temperature change on a more reasonable scale, say 10c, a magnitude of change which most people could actually feel?
It will look mostly like a little squiggly dot at that scale.