[Vision2020] 7-22-17, Gavin Schmidt, GISS Director: "Joy plots for climate change, " name from a Joy Division album cover

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Thu Jul 27 18:56:05 PDT 2017

A few excerpts from this Realclimate.org post from Goddard Institute for
Space Studies director Gavin Schmidt are pasted in below.

The Joy Division album cover from the "Unknown Pleasures" album is
displayed, explaining what it is.  I had no clue.

The graphs that show a moving time sequence of global temperature change
from 1881 to 2016 are badass.  The temp. data is sourced from GISTEMP:

Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett


Joy plots for climate change
Filed under:

   - Climate Science
   - Communicating Climate
   - Instrumental Record

— gavin @ 22 July 2017

This is joy as in ‘Joy Division’, not as in actual fun.

Many of you will be familiar with the iconic cover of Joy Division’s
Unknown Pleasures album, but maybe fewer will know that it’s a plot of
signals from a pulsar (check out this Scientific American article on the
The length of the line is matched to the frequency of the pulsing so that
successive pulses are plotted almost on top of each other. For many years
this kind of plot did not have a well-known designation until, in fact,
April this year:


But there is obviously more that one could do here, and so here are some
variations on the theme. Some people preferred a different temperature
scale, so I added a Fahrenheit line (though perhaps ice age units
<https://xkcd.com/1379/> would the best: 1 IAU = 5ºC). Also, people wanted
finer time resolution, so here it is with distributions recalculated every
2 and every 5 years.

And here is one showing the seasonal cycle as well (climatology taken from

These should be downloadable if you want to use them elsewhere (just point
back here for credit). Feel free to suggest other uses or variations in the
comments, and if there’s time we can add them too.

If you want to play around with similar plots, the R code is here
<http://www.realclimate.org/docs/joy_plots.R>. The inputs are the monthly
means from GISTEMP
<https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GLB.Ts+dSST.csv>, and
the seasonal
anomalies from MERRA2
<https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/faq/merra2_seas_anom.txt>. Should be
easy enough to adapt to other data.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman.fsr.com/pipermail/vision2020/attachments/20170727/7775bb90/attachment.html>

More information about the Vision2020 mailing list