Climate change in numbers How young people make climate change visible with interactive maps and curves
16 young scientists, web designers and psychologists have come together to clarify climate change, its causes and consequences – with maps, curves and lots of facts.
They are economists, web designers, biologists and psychologists, they are young – and they are all united by one desire: to make climate change, its causes and its consequences better understandable. In mid-September, 16 women and men from the Klimadashboard association opened the German website Klimadashboard.de. On the first day there were 10,000 accesses, the same number the following week. Apparently there is interest in well-displayed information on topics such as CO2-Budget, hot days, great wind energy.
Operators do not use data tracking, but can easily estimate who visits the site based on feedback from individual users, says Johanna Kranz, a doctor of biology education. Sometimes school classes would send them photos from the classroom. Students also provide feedback, as do non-governmental organizations and authorities who ask for further data on certain topics. The dashboard is regularly updated and supplemented with data from publicly available sources or provided by scientists or institutions.
Johanna Kranz and two of her colleagues also presented to an international audience, for example at the Extreme Weather Congress in Hamburg, how they manage to clarify complicated facts with their climate dashboard. The congress organizer also hired them as fact-checkers: if questions from the audience came after the presentations, they supported the speakers by quickly providing information graphics.
Climate change: fact-based communication
“We want to make climate science understandable, prepare data in a user-friendly way and offer journalists the opportunity to conduct fact-based climate communication,” explains Cedric Carr, psychology student at the University of Vienna, project manager of the climate dashboard – and actor. “And we want to show the population: these are the facts, and signal to politicians: we are keeping an eye on you,” adds Adrian Hiss, cognitive biologist and Fridays For Future activist since 2019.
For example when talking about CO2-Balance. A petrol-colored curve shows how much greenhouse gases Germany has released each year since 2000, and a red-purple line shows how much the country can still release to reach the 1.5-degree target set in Paris. The sober realization: “If Germany consistently emits the amount of CO₂ in the coming years that it emitted in 2022, the country’s CO₂ budget will be exhausted by the beginning of 2025,” says Carr. In a year and a half. To stretch the budget until 2045, as the German federal government aims, greenhouse gas emissions would have to decrease by 33% each year compared to the previous year. In fact, between 2021 and 2022 they only decreased by 2.7%. A discrepancy between desire and reality that can hardly be overlooked.
When will Germany’s CO be?2-Budget exhausted?
Depending on how effectively greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced, three different scenarios arise. This leaves the CO2-Emissions are back to the same level as before (purple line), the budget will already be exhausted at the beginning of 2025. If the budget were to last until the beginning of 2027, an annual reduction of 129 million tons of CO would be needed2, a decline of almost 20% per year compared to 2022 emissions (orange line). To achieve the government’s goal of climate neutrality by 2045, CO2 would have to be2-Emissions decrease by 33% each year compared to the previous year (yellow line).
Every two weeks you will find a new infographic from the climate dashboard here.