A Chart of the Earth Surface Temperature

Earth surface temperature as measured by the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies [1]. A first exprerience with python pandas matplotlib.

This figure shows the evolution of the earth surface temperature, as measured at different points. An average of those points lectures are then compared to the average temperature recorded between 1950 and 1980 for each location. Such anomalies are reported on the Y axis (after having been smoothed with a moving average of 10 years) for each year covered (X-axis).

chart of earth temperature

A moving average of the anomalies observed between the year 1850 and 2015. Anomalies are being defined as the differences from the average temperature recorded between 1950 and 1980 for each location observed.

In each year period, I calculated the quantiles and reported it on the figure as follows: black represent the median, dark-orange-red bands contain observations which are between the 25th quantile and the 75th centile, light orange are between the 10th and the 90th percentile and the fine orange lines mark the minimum and maximum values of the anomalies observed for that given year.

This figure was originaly made as an assignment for the course Data Visualisation by John C. Hart at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champlain provided by Coursera.

I used python pandas and matplotlib to analyse the data and generate the figure. I find pandas-matplotlib very handy for exploratory drawings but particularly difficult to customise. I could not get control of how the legend is displayed: I would have prefer to show bands instead of lines, and have a more compact description, grouping 25% and 75% items together, as well as 10% and 90% items. Next time I will use d3.js !


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