LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - From British rock band Enter Shikari to U.S. weather presenters, a campaign by climate scientists to raise awareness about the pace of global warming with blue-and-red striped art went viral this week both online and on screen.
The #ShowYourStripes campaign was an initiative by the U.S.-based independent climate change group, Climate Central, and climate science professor Ed Hawkins from Britain’s University of Reading, that lets users track global warming in their area.
The online project lets users pick a location to design a striped picture of temperature changes over the past 100 years. The image was downloaded by almost a million people in the space of a week, Hawkins said.
The campaign hit the headlines this week after weather presenters across the United States joined forces to present their shows wearing ties and with mugs and other displays showing the striped images from their locations.
Striped images were also featured as a backdrop for live performances by rock bank Enter Shikari in Germany and France, printed on the side of a Tesla car, and made into leggings, socks, USB sticks, and earrings available on an online outlet.
“We want people to share these climate stripes for countries around the world to show that temperatures are rising dramatically in all corners of the globe,” Hawkins told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“It’s the clearest illustration yet that, no matter where on the planet you live, you are feeling the effects of climate change.”
Using the average temperature between 1971 and 2000 as its middle point, the image displays red lines if the year was hotter than that, or a blue line if it was colder. The darker the shade of each color then the more severe the change.
The general trend seen in most locations is a move from a deep blue to deep red as time progresses, illustrating global temperature increases in action.
Climate campaigners hoped the initiative could help raise awareness about rising temperatures, with nations at the 2015 Paris climate talks agreeing to try to limit a rise in global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
“It’s like a really well-designed logo while still being an accurate representation of very important data,” said Greenpeace spokesman Graham Thompson.
“If these start appearing in lots of different places, they could be really useful for keeping climate change in people’s minds after the latest heatwave or hurricane has passed.”
Reporting by Charlie Filmer-Court, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith @BeeGoldsmith; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org