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Antti Lipponen, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Witness a Century of Rising Earth Temperatures

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Antti Lipponen, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Predictions about the future tend to dominate the conversation surrounding global warming. You may have heard that Arctic temperatures are expected to increase by 7° to 13°F over the next century, or that sea levels could rise by as much as 6 feet in that same amount of time. But you don't need to look ahead to see the impact of climate change on our planet—just take glance at the temperature data from the last 100 years.

Co.Design recently spotlighted an animated infographic designed by Antti Lipponen, a senior scientist at the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The visualization pulls from NASA data to illustrate the dramatic ascent of average global temperatures between 1900 and 2016.

The circular graph includes one bar for each of the world’s countries. Their colors shift from blue to red, with red representing years far hotter than that nation’s average. As the century progresses, the graphic unfurls into a deep red sunburst of temperature anomalies which acts as both a stunning piece of art and a sobering educational tool.

Lipponen isn't the first scientist to use climate statistics to make a visually captivating statement. Check out Jill Pelto's "Glaciogenic Art," which combines hard data with watercolors of natural landscapes in peril.

[h/t Co.Design]

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Live Smarter
Beyond the Label: How to Pick the Right Medicines For Your Cold and Flu Symptoms
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The average household spends an annual total of $338 on various over-the-counter medicines, with consumers making around 26 pharmacy runs each year, according to 2015 data from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. To save cash and minimize effort (here's why you'd rather be sleeping), the Cleveland Clinic recommends avoiding certain cold and flu products, and selecting products containing specific active ingredients.

Since medicine labels can be confusing (lots of people likely can’t remember—let alone spell—words like cetirizine, benzocaine, or dextromethorphan), the famous hospital created an interactive infographic to help patients select the right product for them. Click on your symptom, and you’ll see ingredients that have been clinically proven to relieve runny or stuffy noses, fevers, aches, and coughs. Since every medicine is different, you’ll also receive safety tips regarding dosage levels, side effects, and the average duration of effectiveness.

Next time you get sick, keep an eye out for these suggested elements while comparing products at the pharmacy. In the meantime, a few pro tips: To avoid annoying side effects, steer clear of multi-symptom products if you think just one ingredient will do it for you. And while you’re at it, avoid nasal sprays with phenylephrine and cough syrups with guaifenesin, as experts say they may not actually work. Cold and flu season is always annoying—but it shouldn’t be expensive to boot.

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infographics
All the Plastic Ever Produced, Visualized
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iStock

Humanity has a plastic problem. The cheap, durable material has become a vital part of our vehicles, food packaging, and even the inner structures of our homes. We’ve already produced 8.3 billion metric tons of the stuff, and most of it is sitting in landfills where it could take centuries to break down.

In early 2017, a study published in the journal Science Advances highlighted the literal weight of this growing issue. Researchers calculated that the bulk of all the plastic that’s been made by humans is equivalent to that of 25,000 Empire State Buildings or 80 million blue whales. Of that, only 9 percent has been recycled. The amount of plastic waste currently trashing our planet adds up to 6.3 billion metric tons, and the researchers don’t see our plastic addiction getting any less severe in the near future. By 2050, the plastic in our landfills is expected to hit 12 billion metric tons. You can see more alarming statistics from the study in the infographic below.

Infographic showing plastic production statistics.
University of Georgia, Janet A Beckley

Of all the trash we produce, plastic is some of the toughest to get rid of [PDF]. Scientists are looking into solutions, such as plastic-chomping caterpillars and germs, but for now consumers can do the planet a favor by investing in more reusable goods.

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