It’s hot…

Times being what they are, some of you believe in climate change and others do not. I’m married to a scientist and I like data, especially when it is presented in a way that is both visually interesting and understandable.

I read this article in the Washington Post on Tuesday that shows various ways that data visualizers are representing temperature increases. We all recognize hot and cold days as we live in them, but these visualizations put daily temperatures in a longer context.

Dr. Ed Hawkins is a climate scientist in the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) at the University of Reading. His visualizations resonated with me. This one could be printed on fabric, if only what it represents wasn’t so concerning.


by Ed Hawkins

The climate spiral, below, is in the WaPo article, and you can also find it here. This is a photo of the final spiral, but if you click this link you can watch the spiral grow from cooler, bluer rings to where we are now.

Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 9.16.48 AM

by Ed Hawkins

I’m sharing this because I find it interesting. Some of you might be poised to tell me why you think climate change is made up. You can, but please keep it pleasant.

We need to be able to have conversations, that include listening, about topics on which we might not agree. Most of our collective conversations happen on flat, glass screens. If we were looking at each other, face-to-face, we would likely respond differently than we do on a keyboard. Pretend we are in the same room :-).

Link to the article in the Washington Post for those of you whose links above don’t work:


11 thoughts on “It’s hot…

  1. I agree with you Becky. This data would be more beautiful if it weren’t so concerning. My aunt was the national climate change coordinated for the US back in the late ‘80s early ‘90s. We’ve been watching it a long time.
    On a maker’s note, crocheted temperature blankets were all the rage a few years ago.


    • I do love hearing about women doing well in science so that is at least a plus. I read an article not long ago (I think in the New Yorker) about a turning point in the 70s—initially both politicians and scientists acknowledged the problem. Then the energy companies managed to change the conversation and here we are. Deep sighs on my part.

      I had not heard about temperature blankets! I’m going to have to think about that for a bit… it’s a very interesting idea.



  2. As a scientist, I know that climate change is true. From the visuals of the data you can see it has been occurring a long time now. As a resident of this planet for 72 years, I can see it happening year by year. Good grief, this summer for the first time we had a high of 118 on our patio and a whole week of 110+ weather, and we’re only 50 miles from the ocean and supposedly in semi-desert. The weather is changing. But this is not happening in our time – but earth’s time. It may be another 166 years before our home is inhabitable. So that does give us time to do something, but we have to start now.


  3. Thanks for sharing this information it is interesting. Is it climate change, possibly but when viewed with all the changes occurring within our society can it just as easily be explained as part of our march to the end of days, also an unknown.OMG that sounds so negative when I really am not. Just my musings sometimes keep asking why and then I try to analyze what pops into my head. What can I say brain changes after a stroke have changed my strictly scientific mindset to one that wanders away at times.


  4. Climate change is absolutely real. All the proof I need is outside my window right now. I’m looking at a family of bald eagles learning to fly and search for mice in the fields behind my house. Why does that prove climate change is real? …well American bald eagles have only been spotted in PEI for less than than 25 years. Prior to that, our temperature were too cool in eastern Canada for bald eagles to migrate in the spring. Now because it’s warmer here, they are an every day sight to see. Signs of the warming earth are everywhere. Just saying.


    • Tis true. I suspect that plants and animals will adapt and others won’t. And the idea of long-forgotten microbes coming back from the icepack is not a happy thought (let’s hope being frozen kills them).

      I really am not loving the idea of living inside this giant science experiment.



  5. Thank you, Becky, for sharing this information and the beautiful graphs. The stripes would, indeed, make a beautiful fabric. So sad that it represents such frightening data! Climate change is real, for sure.


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