Science Art: Warming Stripes for Scotland from 1884-2018, from #ShowYourStripes, University of Reading’s Institute for Environmental Analytics.

Scientific Illustration of a warming Scotland, from #ShowYourStripes data visualization project

Scientific Illustration of a warming Scotland, from #ShowYourStripes data visualization projectClick to embiggen

This how much the average temperature in Scotland has changed, year over year, since 1884. The white stripes represent the average temperature in Scotland between 1971 and 2000. Blue is colder than that average, and red is warmer.

University of Reading climate scientist Ed Hawkins came up with these data visualizations for every country in the world – from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe – with plenty of little sub-sections for different cities, states and regions (Stockholm vs all of Sweden; Alaska vs Florida). It’s all done with a very simple pull-down menu at

These particular stripes come from information gathered by the UK Met Office, which has distinguished itself recently for rather accurate five-days-out hurricane-path predictions.

From the FAQ:

These ‘warming stripe’ graphics are visual representations of the change in temperature as measured in each country over the past 100+ years. Each stripe represents the temperature in that country averaged over a year. For most countries, the stripes start in the year 1901 and finish in 2018. For the UK, USA, Switzerland & Germany, the data starts in the late 19th century.

For most countries, the data comes from the Berkeley Earth temperature dataset, updated to the end of 2018. For some countries (USA, UK, Switzerland & Germany) the data comes from the relevant national meteorological agency. For each country, the average temperature in 1971-2000 is set as the boundary between blue and red colours, and the colour scale varies from +/- 2.6 standard deviations of the annual average temperatures between 1901-2000.

I like the way it looks like a flag. Problem is, all the countries are really similar – a gradient going from blue to red.