CICERO - Center for International Climate Research

The climate spiral demonstrates the power of sharing creative ideas

Ed Hawkins, Taran Fæhn, Jan Fuglestvedt

Graphical visualisations have the potential to engage diverse audiences in understanding the changes to our climate, especially when spread worldwide using both traditional and social media. The animated global temperature spiral was one of the first climate graphics to ‘go viral’, being viewed by millions of people online and by more than a billion people when it was used in the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics. The idea, design and communication aspects that led to the successes of this animated graphic are discussed, highlighting the benefits to scientists of engaging actively online and openly sharing their creative ideas.

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