AUSTIN (KXAN) — June 21 marks the fourth annual #ShowYourStripes campaign. This day of awareness originally started as #MetsUnite where meteorologists from around the world used the start of summer as a day to inform the public the realities of climate change.
The stripes that meteorologists are showing stems from climate scientist Ed Hawkins and have become an iconic symbol across the globe.
According to Climate Central, the stripes use annual temperature anomalies to create a simple “striped” visual. Red stripes are years above a long-term average temperature and blue stripes are years below.
Below is an image of Austin’s climate stripes. According to data from Climate Central, between the years 1898 and about 1970, there were roughly an even distribution of warmer and cooler years.
But from around 1970 to the present, not only do the warm color contours become more frequent, they become darker shades of red, indicating that there is a noticeable warming trend happening in Austin.
Austin is one of many cities across the country that Climate Central has compiled data from to view this warming trend. There’s even an interactive portion of their website where you can view other cities, states, and even countries warming stripes. You can find that here.
The Show Your Stripes website explains that the reason why no numbers are shown on their graphic is because these graphics are specifically designed to be as simple as possible, and to start conversations about our warming world and the risks of climate change. There are numerous sources of information which provide more specific details about how temperatures have changed, so these graphics fill a gap and enable communication with minimal scientific knowledge required to understand their meaning.
In addition to the warming stripes graphics, Climate Central has endless fun, useful and easy to use information that ties in climate change to things like stronger and more frequent hurricanes, longer droughts and heat waves, and worsening wildfires. You can find that all here.