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What are the stripes?

No words. No numbers. No graphs. Just a series of vertical coloured bars, showing the progressive heating of our planet in a single, striking image.

The climate stripes were created by Professor Ed Hawkins at the University of Reading in 2018.

They show clearly and vividly how global average temperatures have risen over nearly two centuries,

How do they work?

Each stripe represents the average temperature for a single year, relative to the average temperature over the period as a whole. Shades of blue indicate cooler-than-average years, while red shows years that were hotter than average. The stark band of deep red stripes on the right-hand side of the graphic show the rapid heating of our planet in recent decades.


Start the conversation

The graphics also show how no corner of the globe is immune from the effects of global warming. Stripes images for more than 200 countries, states and cities are available to download for free from the website. People in every country can see how their home is heating and share the images, helping to start conversations about climate change.

Global impact

The stripes are already having an impact. More than a million people downloaded graphics from the site within a week of its launch in 2019.

Television weather presenters, scientists and campaigners worldwide continue to wear and share them on social media – using the hashtag #showyourstripes – each June on the summer/winter solstice. The stripes have appeared on the Main Stage at Reading Festival, on badges worn by US senators, at school climate strikes, and on electric cars, trams and trains.

Previous images designed by Professor Ed Hawkins includes the animated 'climate spiral' of global temperature, which was used in the opening ceremony for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.