Data Vis Dispatch, August 10

The best of last week’s big and small data visualizations

Welcome back to the eighth edition of Data Vis Dispatch! Every week, we’ll be publishing a collection of the best small and large data visualizations we find, especially from news organizations — to celebrate data journalism, data visualization, simple charts, elaborate maps, and their creators.

This week’s major recurring topic was the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, with additional focus on COVID-19 and the end of the Tokyo Olympics.

This Monday, August 9, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released their sixth assessment report on the present and future of the climate crisis. The data is stark and alarming, and journalists in the past 48 hours have shown us plenty of ways to look at it. Under human influence, Earth’s climate has already warmed by 1°C:

IPCC: AR6 Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis, August 9
Bloomberg: Climate Scientists Reach ‘Unequivocal’ Consensus on Human-Made Warming in Landmark Report, August 9
BBC: Climate change: IPCC report is ‘code red for humanity,’ August 9
Le Monde: La crise climatique s’aggrave partout, à des niveaux sans précédent, alerte le GIEC, August 9
Süddeutsche Zeitung: Weltklimarat: Zwei-Grad-Ziel droht unerreichbar zu werden, August 9
The Guardian: Major climate changes inevitable and irreversible – IPCC’s starkest warning yet, August 9

Almost every region of the world is already experiencing a human-caused increase in extreme heat:

IPCC: AR6 Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis, August 9
The Economist: Where is climate change being felt most acutely?, August 9
CNN: Was that wild weather caused by climate change? Scientists can now say ‘yes’ with confidence, August 9

And only immediate, profound cuts in emissions will prevent a future of even more catastrophic warming:

CNN: Earth is warming faster than previously thought, scientists say, and the window is closing to avoid catastrophic outcomes, August 9
Axios: UN report: Effects of climate change even more severe than we thought, August 9

Billions of human lives, as well as the future of every ecosystem on Earth, are at stake:

Agence France-Presse: “Des milliards de personnes vulnérables au changement climatique,” August 9 (Tweet)
Zeit Online: Ist die Arktis in 50 Jahren eisfrei?, August 9
The Telegraph: ‘Code red for humanity’: Paris 1.5C climate goal set to be breached within two decades, August 9
IPCC: Working Group Interactive Atlas, August 9
El País: Un atlas interactivo para mostrar cómo sería el planeta con un calentamiento de 4 grados, August 9

But we didn’t have to wait for the IPCC report to see the climate crisis playing out. We’re in the middle of a summer of extreme heat, drought, and wildfire:

Süddeutsche Zeitung: Ein Juli der Extreme, August 5
Politico: Regulators refuse to step in as workers languish in extreme heat, August 8
Reuters: Lake Mead at a low, August 9
El País: Los incendios devoran el Mediterráneo oriental avivados por el calor extremo, August 4
Financial Times: Wildfires surge during searing Mediterranean heat, August 6
San Francisco Chronicle: Is air quality getting worse in the Bay Area?, August 5
South China Morning Post: Record algae bloom swamps China’s port city of Qingdao, August 9

And we know that fossil-fuel emissions are the cause — and that too little has been done with that knowledge:

xkcd: Global Temperature Over My Lifetime, August 9
The Economist: How climate targets compare against a common baseline, August 7
Bloomberg: At Least Two-Thirds of Global Car Sales Will Be Electric by 2040, August 9
Politico: Where Republicans Are Starting to Worry About Big Oil, August 6

Summer heat was a challenge at the Tokyo Olympics, which finished this weekend. Records were broken (or not) and medals were counted:

The Wall Street Journal: Why It’s Not Just the Heat That Makes the Tokyo Olympics So Hot, August 5
The New York Times: “Here’s how Sydney McLaughlin of the U.S. won the 400-meter hurdles at #Tokyo2020, breaking her own world record. Dalilah Muhammad, her teammate and the 2016 Olympic champion, won silver. Femke Bol of the Netherlands won bronze,” August 3 (Tweet)
FiveThirtyEight: The Fastest Men In The World Are Still Chasing Usain Bolt, August 3
Folha de S. Paulo: Análise mostra que seleção feminina de vôlei depende da força do ataque para pontuar, August 5
Agence France-Presse: “Aux JO de #Tokyo2020, l’or pour 65 délégations,” August 9 (Tweet)
Bloomberg: Here’s a Surefire Way to Boost Your Olympic Medal Count, August 8 (Tweet)
Folha de S.Paulo: Infográfico mostra evolução de medalhas dos principais países nas Olimpíadas de Tóquio, August 9

This week’s maps explored everything from race and zoning to swimming pools:

Star Tribune: When you look at these neighborhoods, what do you see?, August 7
The Washington Post: Between the GOP and the governor’s mansion: A bigger, bluer Northern Virginia, August 7
El Confidencial: Hay ‘stock’ de droga en África y los narcos quieren inundar Europa con ella, August 8
El País: Dos piscinas privadas por cada 100 habitantes, August 9

And charts took us from political redistricting to GitHub codebases:

FiveThirtyEight: What Redistricting Looks Like In Every State, August 9
The Washington Post: D.C. parking, traffic tickets snowball into financial hardships, August 6
Office for National Statistics (UK): Census unearthed: explore 50 years of change from 1961, August 9
Amelia Wattenberger/GitHub: Visualizing a codebase, August 5 (Tweet)

What else we found interesting

Tim Wallace: “Pretty impressive midcentury traffic flow models here,” August 9 (Tweet)
Kontinentalist: Seeded in Singapore, August 5
The New York Times: Decisive Moments From the Tokyo Games, Frame by Frame, August 6
The Straits Times: Regardless of race: One nation, many festivals, August 9

Help us make this dispatch better! We’d love to hear which newsletters, blogs, or social media accounts we need to follow to learn about interesting projects, especially from less-covered parts of the world (Asia, South America, Africa). Write us at or leave a comment below.