How much hotter will it get in your lifetime?

Edit: Hans has updated this chart with the latest IPCC report data from 2021. You can find and reuse versions using a mean emissions scenario and a high emissions scenario in the River.

This is Hans, a software engineer at Datawrapper. For this week’s edition of the Weekly Chart, I tried to find a personal approach to global temperature increase.

When looking at charts about the increase in global temperature, I sometimes find myself asking: What exactly does that mean for people living now — especially younger generations? These charts often have all the data laid out, but the direct personal relevance is sometimes hard to grasp. Here is my approach:


Using the average life expectancy for German citizens in 2017/2019, I calculated the average remaining life expectancy for each age group. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a similar data source for the whole world. The statistical projection for future warming is based on this Guardian article from 2017, which in turn is based on a paper by Raftery et al. from 2017. I chose to use the average of projections, which depicts the most likely scenario.

This chart is heavily inspired by our CTO Gregor's Weekly Chart from two years ago, and uses the same data. Head there if you want to read up on what global temperature increase is and how it affects our future.

Chart choices

The chart above looks like a bar chart — but to create it, I used a Datawrapper scatter plot. It offers the greatest flexibility of all Datawrapper chart types. I mostly used features from the Annotate tab, such as annotation, highlight ranges, and custom lines. To calculate the horizontal “bars,” I wrote a tiny script that you can run in the console of your browser. I then pasted the results in the textfield of our “custom lines and areas” feature.

const years = [2098,2088,2078,2068,2059,2049,2041,2034,2027,2024]; 
const age = [9,19,29,39,49,59,69,79,89,99]; 
let text =''; 
for (let i = years.length - 1; i >= 0; i--) {text += `2021.2 + ${age[i]} + ${years[i] - 0.2} + ${age[i]} + @width:10px @color:#fff \n`;} 

That’s it for this week! As always, feel free to hover over the chart itself and click on the “Edit this chart” button in the upper right to play around with the chart settings or to use this chart yourself. We'll see you next week with a chart by our support engineer Eddie.