By comparing maximum temperatures today against predictions for 2050 and 2070, this new map helps answer a simple question about our complicated weather system. As the climate changes, what is the temperature going to feel like where I live?
Damon Burgett, a designer and developer at Mapbox, created this fresh look on climate data using the WorldClim dataset. By taking a new approach to raster data styling (triangles!) and a clear layout to incorporate the time scales needed to communicate climate predictions (a double challenge), this map is a great example of using data driven design to communicate complex subjects.
Drag the marker over a land area to see the predicted annual max temperature at each of the three dates. The map will dynamically highlight areas that currently share this approximate max temperature. For example, if you drag the marker to New York, Louisiana turns red. This shows that New York is predicted to have the same highest temperatures in 2070 as Louisiana has now. Move the maker to your city and see how the future climate compares to the weather in other places today.
Climate models predict massive shifts in temperature and precipitation over the next 100+ years and it is a challenge to visualize climate change over space and time. These changes will not be the same everywhere; they will appear in complex patterns across the earth’s landscapes.
If you’d like to learn more about how this map was created check out the full blog post on Mapbox’s website.