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21 June: Show Your Stripes for Climate Awareness!

  • By Lauren Casey, meteorologist at Climate Central
  • Jun 14, 2023

Warming Stripes for Boston, Massachusetts. Image: Climate Central.

June 21 is the sixth annual #ShowYourStripes Day—a time when meteorologists, climate communicators, and concerned citizens around the world unite to activate awareness of our warming planet by displaying the colorful climate visuals known as Warming Stripes.

Created by Professor Ed Hawkins, Warming Stripes illustrate in one powerful image the rise in global temperatures caused by human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels. Each stripe represents one year, and the color of each stripe corresponds to whether the temperature of that particular year was above (red) or below (blue) the long-term average. For nearly every city, state, and country, the stripes transition from mainly blue to mainly red, depicting the dramatic rise in average temperatures over the last 100-plus years.

June 21 was chosen to observe #ShowYourStripes Day because it aligns with the official start to summer, the season which experiences the most significant extremes—heat, hurricanes, wildfires—and therefore the perfect day to engage in critical conversations about the climate crisis through the story of stripes.

Professor Hawkins states: “The climate stripes show clearly how the world is heating up. What they will look like in the future depends entirely on our choices. The decisions we make now will be crucial to curbing the dramatic temperature rise seen across the world in recent decades.”

Stripes Day is a day of opportunity, positivity, and hope for a sustainable future. The goal is to cast aside the doom-and-gloom often associated with climate change in order to focus our discussions on solutions—many of which we already have—for curbing climate warming, boosting adaptive capacity, and mitigating harmful impacts to humans and ecosystems.

We at Climate Central encourage all American Meteorological Society and Weather Band members to join in amplifying the stripes campaign that, for the first time ever, will come with lights! Iconic landmarks in major cities, including the Zakim Bridge in Boston, the Skydance Bridge in Oklahoma City, the Terminal Tower in Cleveland, the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia and the CN Tower in Toronto, will be lit up in Warming Stripes.

For a full schedule of landmark lighting events, updated local Warming Stripes graphics, and other stripes inspiration, check out Climate Central’s Stripes Information Page.

View Warming Stripes for your area.