Climate Change in Data by InfoDesignLab
Climate Change in Data is a layered digital narrative that uses the power of words, visuals, and videos to guide readers through the key findings of one of the most significant IPCC climate reports of the 21st century, “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis”. The report, approved word by word by 195 UN member states and produced by over 234 scientists from 65 countries, has 14,000 cited references to the scientific literature. As UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated, the report signals a ‘code red’ for humanity. The world can still mitigate many of the effects of climate change, but this will require drastic climate action in every region and sector. There is hope, but the choices made now will determine our shared future.
Recognizing the profound importance of conveying this scientific assessment, the digital narrative "Climate Change in Data", launched in November 2022, is building on and expanding the outreach of the report to facilitate dissemination, comprehension, education, and decision-making.
The narrative is anchored by ten data visualizations featured in the report’s executive summary, serving as pivotal points around which the narrative unfolds. It incorporates interactive elements and adopts a layered storytelling approach with the goal of communicating scientific evidence to a wider range of audiences, including journalists, NGOs, educators and activists.
By fostering greater awareness and understanding of the scientific findings, Climate Change in Data aims to inspire informed discussions and contribute to the collective efforts towards addressing climate change on a global scale.
Climate Change in Data opens with a video—a flyover sweeping over the ten visualizations, seamlessly introducing them as a dynamic, evocative landscape. Drawing from these visualizations and embracing the power of haiku-style expression the narrative translates complex findings into short, digestible messages.
The experience unfolds through three layers:
- A visual storyline conveying the report's key findings through the suite of ten visualisations co-designed for the IPCC report by a multidisciplinary team
- A series of powerpoint presentations designed for both specialists and non-specialists, facilitating comprehensive explanations of the visualizations
- A collection of videos where IPCC authors personally guide viewers through the report's findings, thereby enhancing the audience's connection with the authors.
A central focus of the digital narrative was placed on moving beyond the constraints of a static report. As future climate reports seek to make their findings more accessible, the digital narrative aims to encourage the integration of visual design and storytelling to communicate scientific content.
Climate Change in Data is the result of an inclusive co-design process, harnessing the expertise of diverse professionals including scientists, information designers, science editors, science communicators, photographers, filmmakers, UX/UI designers, and developers.
Participation and multidisciplinarity played a crucial role in tackling the challenges of designing a product rooted in an IPCC report approved word by word by 195 countries. Meticulous efforts were dedicated to crafting plain language and accurate haiku-style storytelling, ensuring a seamless and rigorous alignment with the approved IPCC report.
CreditsConcept, Co-Design Process, Design, Editing, UX/UI, Development: InfoDesignLab, IPCC Technical Support Unit Working Group I, Norwegian Environment Agency. Climate Change in Data is a project commissioned to InfoDesignLab (IDL) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I Technical Support Unit in collaboration with the Norwegian Environment Agency (NEA). A special thanks to: Fifth Beat, Exalt Editing, Håvard Fandrem, Oda Hveem.