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Giving audiences new ways to grasp the urgency and scale of climate change has never been more important, with some naming 2019 the year of the climate reporter. With climate change no longer a distant scientific projection into the future, journalists are tasked with writing the new language of climate change.

This year, that meant exciting and bold (and frightening) new visuals to show readers exactly how much has changed in their lifetime, and how close we are to the edge. See some of our favorite visual data stories of the year below:

How much hotter is your hometown?

The magic of big data is that it is increasingly giving us the tools to personalise journalism. In this crowd favorite, the New York Times asks readers 2 questions that will shape an interactive, personalised journey of climate change in their lifetime and hometown. It’s seamless, beautiful, and so very, very scary.

The Human Cost of Climate Disasters

You don’t need to map out decades of temperature change to witness the impact of climate change. A single year is enough. That’s what The Guardian does in this visual piece that tracks the number of deaths and people affected in climate disasters in 2018.

The yellow and black map dances through every month of year, showing us the world’s extreme weather events. In the meantime, a counter quietly ratchets up the number of people impacted from 0 to almost 30 million.

Europe is Getting Warmer

That’s no surprise for the people living there, but the European Data Journalism Network proved it: through an exclusive analysis of 100 million meteorological data points.

How much does climate change cost?

Almost USD$306 billion last year alone. This visualisation by HowMuch.net tracks the last 40 years of climate disasters in the United States — and tells us exactly how much each one cost the global superpower.

The world’s bleak climate situation in 3 charts

Vox consistently produces some of the best data visualisations on the internet. In this piece, they showcase 3 graphs that encapsulate the future of the world’s climate crisis.

Lily Jamaludin

About Lily Jamaludin

Lily Jamaludin is a Malaysian writer and researcher. Previously, she helped design education opportunities for stateless youth in Borneo, and assisted in eviction-prevention initiatives in the Bronx. She’s excited to mobilise more young writers from developing countries to influence national debate around climate change.