Sunday, October 16, 2011

Infographics and Climate Change: making a critical global issue a visual one

Infographics: "Graphic visual representations of information, data, or knowledge. These graphics present complex information quickly and clearly, such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education." - Wikipedia

Sometimes a picture can speak a thousand words and that's the idea behind infographics. It may be a sign of an ever-increasing attention-deficit population, but much can be quickly communicated by charts, maps, and graphic images as opposed to pure text. Just thumb through any news magazine to see example after example.

But even though our eyes may wander about looking for attractive images that provide us with quick sound bites, it's not necessarily a bad thing. It's all in the execution. Donald Smith of Environmental Science Masters, a blog devoted to the nuts and bolts of environmental science careers, alerted me to an interesting recent entry: 20 Stunning Infographics To Show How Climate Change Affects Ecosystems.

Covering a range of topics, from various points of view in the debate over climate change to specific representations of the effects of climate change, the post provides quick visual tools in making a case for recognizing climate change and the need to address it and its ramifications, whether one believes it is man-made or a natural long-term cyclical event.

I found it to be a very interesting post and will bookmark many of the graphics listed as they help make an argument for recognizing climate change as a global issue that needs to be addressed now. In a world where dancing celebrities or cuddly kitten videos vie for the attention of millions, it doesn't hurt to make a point regarding the fate of the planet with a little eye candy of your own.

Read about the infographics at Environmental Science Masters.

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