Climate Matters•June 14, 2023
Warming Stripes: Local to Global
June 21 is #ShowYourStripes day—a time to spread awareness about climate change using the iconic ‘warming stripes’ graphics showing temperature trends over the last 100+ years.
Download and share warming stripes for 178 cities, 49 states, the U.S., and the globe.
Each colored stripe represents the annual average temperature relative to a long-term average.
Red stripes are years that were hotter than average; blue stripes are years that were cooler.
Show up for #ShowYourStripes on June 21
#ShowYourStripes is a global campaign to spread awareness about climate change using warming stripes graphics. The iconic blue and red barcode will appear on landmarks, TV screens, magazines, and hopefully you, as the world unites to show their stripes on June 21.
Global Warming Stripes
Created by Professor Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist at the University of Reading, the global warming stripes are a simple visual representation of the long-term rise in global temperatures due to human-caused climate change.
Each stripe represents the global temperature averaged over one year, from 1850 to 2022. Red stripes are years that were hotter than the 1971-2000 average; blue stripes are years that were cooler.
The global warming stripes graphic shows a rapid shift from blue to red stripes in recent decades as carbon pollution has warmed the planet.
In 2022, the planet was 2.0°F (1.1°C) warmer than the 1881-1910 baseline—dangerously close to the internationally-agreed goal of limiting global warming to 2.7°F (1.5°C) above pre-industrial levels.
U.S. Warming Stripes
Climate Central analyzed historical temperature data through 2022 to produce warming stripes graphics for 178 U.S. cities, 49 states (excluding Hawaii), and the entire U.S.
Each graphic shows 100+ years of temperature change relative to the long-term (1901-2000) average at the city, state, or national level. See Methodology below for details.
Most locations show a strong warming trend, especially in fast-warming regions like the Southwest, Northeast, and Alaska. Last year was especially warm relative to the long-term average in cities like Burlington, Vt., Fresno, Calif., Reno, Nev., Salt Lake City, Utah, and Tampa, Fla.
Four ways to #ShowYourStripes
Here are a few ways to #ShowYourStripes on June 21st—or on any day of the year—to communicate about climate change.
Visit Climate Central’s new Show Up for Stripes Day page for more free graphics, examples of warming stripes in action, and to locate the 16 landmarks across the U.S. (and in Toronto) that will light up for #ShowYourStripes day.
Share your local warming stripes on social media, TV broadcasts, and in local climate reporting to communicate about warming in your city, state, or across the U.S.
Explore Climate Central’s resource library for hundreds of graphics and reporting resources that explain the local effects of global climate change—from local impacts (such as warming summers, more frequent fire weather, and more mosquito days) to local solutions (such as solar and wind energy generation and leading ways to cut carbon pollution in each state, and the cooling power of trees in 242 U.S. cities).
Update your social accounts with warming stripes images—including a Zoom background and filters for Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Check out warming stripes in action:
Climate Central's Bernadette Woods Placky explains warming stripes
The Weather Channel meteorologists Jim Cantore, Stephanie Abrams, and Jordan Steele show their stripes.
The International Weather and Climate Forum shared a collage of worldwide stripes coverage
We’re seeing red, but don’t feel blue.
Our actions today determine what color stripes future generations will live through.
Climate Central recently analyzed how much warming younger generations could experience during their lifetimes if carbon pollution either continues, or is cut rapidly.
The analysis shows that younger generations (Millennials, Gen Z, and Gen Alpha) across the U.S. could experience between 6 to 7°F of warming over their lifetimes if high levels of emissions continue. These levels of warming would bring rapid change and more extreme events such as heat waves.
The same Climate Central analysis also shows the powerful effects of the choices we make now.
The data show that keeping global warming under 2°C (3.6°F) with rapid cuts in carbon pollution would set younger generations on a radically different path—toward a far safer future with less warming and fewer risky extreme events.
Climate solutions in every state
The tools we need to choose this safer, cooler future are already available. For example:
The U.S. produced enough wind and solar energy in 2022 to power the equivalent of 64 million homes—reflecting a surge in the country’s wind and solar capacity that’s projected to continue.
And heat-trapping emissions have already decreased in most U.S. states since 2005.
The solutions needed to accelerate these recent trends by cutting carbon from transportation, electricity, agriculture, and industry already exist—and are expanding across the country.
Learn more in Climate Central’s Solutions Series.
Ed Hawkins, PhD
Professor of Climate Science
University of Reading
Related expertise: historical and projected climate change; warming stripes and data visualization
Juan Pérez Arango, PhD
*Available for interviews in Spanish
Data and Climate Scientist at GHD
Related expertise: Climate science, teleconnections, data, and risk assessment
Submit a request to SciLine from the American Association for the Advancement of Science or to the Climate Data Concierge from Columbia University. These free services rapidly connect journalists to relevant scientific experts.
Browse maps of climate experts and services at regional NOAA, USDA, and Department of the Interior offices.
The warming stripes design was conceived by Ed Hawkins, as described here. Stripes for U.S. states and stations are based on the anomaly from the 20th century average. For a subset of locations where there was no data until after 1901, the anomaly is based on the oldest 100-year average available for that city. Stations with less than 100 years of data were not included. For U.S. warming stripes (national, states, and cities), the 20th century (1901-2000) average temperature is set as the boundary between blue and red color scales. The color scale ranges from 5°F below the 20th century average (darkest blue; #004F7E) to 5°F above the 20th century average (darkest red; #56000E) in 1-degree increments. Station data is from Applied Climate Information System and state data is from NCEI Climate at a Glance.