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A few days ago, the UK's Met Office (short for Meteorological Office) released a large data subset containing a record of global temperatures. The subset is one of the global temperature records that have underpinned IPCC assessment reports and numerous scientific studies. The data show monthly average temperature values for over 1,500 land stations.

Both Manuel Lima (of Visual Complexity) and Jer Thorp (of blprnt.com) have called for the "data community" to step in and use this opportunity to create meaningful data representations. Accordingly, an open online forum titled "#ClimateData", has been created where data visualization enthusiasts are invited to participate in a constructive dialogue towards this goal.

In the meantime, some early visualization results have already trickled in.

- Information is Beautiful (of the book The Visual Miscellaneum) has developed a very detailed infographic depicting the different arguments in the ongoing debate between the Global Warming Sceptics versus the Scientific Consensus.

- Flink Labs mapped the temperature readings of more than 200 years on an animated 3D globe.

- Lastly, blprnt has created 12 monthly data representations, visualizing all 1,670,354 released Met Office Climate records.

Is this a worthwhile initiative? Are there more visualizations around? Are you planning to make one? Let us know in the comments below!


I posted an interactive visualization (built using Protovis) last night. I tried to make it visually interesting enough for people to play with, while not sacrificing readability. I'm also working on a more in-depth analysis, to be published Monday.

Sat 12 Dec 2009 at 12:36 AM

Thank you for posting about this issue! I was interested myself as there seems to be plenty of numbers flying around in the news but fewer visualizations, and almost no interactive ones. Look at this interactive viz I made about climate change in the US and let me know what you think: http://tinyurl.com/y9zqa7r

Sat 12 Dec 2009 at 8:29 AM

I really think this move of the email network should have been included:

Sat 12 Dec 2009 at 8:44 AM

Although not interactive, but some interesting visuals - combination of bar chart and map - about CO2 Emissions, both Total and per Capita, in form of ISO Codes, can be found here. And some Bubble Charts, depicting Total and per Capita CO2 Emissions, as well as GDP and Population, here.

Sun 13 Dec 2009 at 5:34 AM

Hey, that is what I did with the Met data: http://vimeo.com/8102161 - 2 years of temperature per second.

Sun 13 Dec 2009 at 6:45 AM

That would all be nice if the data wasnt fabricated and those working in the pro-"global warming" side of things known to be frauds... just saying....

Sat 27 Mar 2010 at 12:17 PM
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