Climate Change Infographic – Observations and Origins

The climate is shifting. Iceburgs at Grey Glacier, Patagonia, Chile. (Photo, Dimitry B)

The climate is shifting. Icebergs at Grey Glacier, Patagonia, Chile. (Photo, Dimitry B)

Climate change comes up in frequently in discussion. I’ve noticed that the same sort of unanswered questions and queries often seem to come up.

Most people are happy to accept that the climate is indeed changing, but for many they struggle to come to terms with the fact that human beings are the main drivers.

“Surely we can’t be having such a big impact all on our own?”. “Climate change is a natural process anyway isn’t it?”. “I’ll be happy to have a bit more warm weather anyway!!!”

There’s a lot of confusion, but hopefully with the help of an infographic, we’ll be able to clear things up a little.


Back in May/June of this year, I spent a couple of weeks working in the computer room with a good friend, completing my final year dissertation at Imperial College.

For the project, we had to act as environmental consultants for a company with a large carbon footprint, producing a report aimed at convincing the board that climate change is in fact happening, and the recent changes are a direct consequence of human (anthropogenic) activities.

Along with the report, we had to produce an A3 graphic, summarising the key findings. I love this type of stuff, so spent quite a while collating the latest information and messing about on Inkscape.

The graphic highlights the evidence of the recent changing climate, and contrasts the impacts of human actions against natural processes. I thought I would share the finished product:

Climate change infographic - observations and origins: Infographic

Climate change infographic – observations and origins


The above data is a couple of months out of date now, as the executive summary of the next IPCC report has recently been released, but it is still relevant.

I hope you can see that the graphic shows that the climate problem is not going away. We have observed significant changes in the atmosphere and all other parts of the climate system, as it attempts to bring itself back to equilibrium.

Although climate change happens naturally over longer time frames, humans actions are by far the biggest drivers of the recent change, accounting for the largest portion of the radiative forcing. Unfortunately, despite the overwhelming evidence that we are the main culprits, our impact seems to be worsening.

At the end of the day, the climate will be fine. It will make the necessary adjustments to eventually bring itself back to normal, and the natural cycles will resume. However, when making these adjustments, the planet will not be concerned with the fate of us, its inhabitants – not for one second.

If we want to carry on co-existing with the planet we live on, we had better start co-operating. The Earth is starting to become pretty inhospitable, and it’s our responsibility to make a change.

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Luke Jones

Luke Jones is a mover, blogger and wellness enthusiast. He spends his time exploring and sharing ideas in mindful movement, healthy living and adventure.

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