Environmental Data Visualization
Carbon Dioxide Emissions (All Sources) 100 200 400 600 800 1k 2k 4k 6k 8k 10k 20k 40k 60k 80k 100k Per-Capita GDP (2000$ Thousands) 0.08 0.1 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 2 4 6 8 CO2(e) Emission Intensity (kg per 2000 US$ of GDP) 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 CHN USA E28 IND RUS JPN KOR CAN SAU ZAF MEX IDN BRA AUS IRN

The animated bubble chart above shows the evolution of carbon dioxide emissions across countries in the world from 1970 through 2010. The size (area) of the bubbles corresponds to the total emissions of a country. You can see how these bubbles move along two dimensions: the per-capita gross domestic product on the horizontal axis, and the economy's emission intensity along the vertical axis. Countries that grow affluent move to the right, and countries that become more efficient at reducing emissions move to the bottom. The axes in this diagram are logarithmic and span several orders of magnitude. The per-capita GDP axis starts from $100 per person and increases to $100,000 per person. This diagram is able to display four dimensions: the vertical and horizontal axes, the bubble size, and the movement over time. It is an example of how web technology can help better explain complex data patterns. What can you learn from the diagram? First, the bubbles are getting bigger over time, in particular the ones for China and India. Second, you can visualize a negative relationship between emission intensity and per-capita GDP. Countries that are getting richer tend to lower their emission intensity. The diagram was programmed in the web language SVG (scalable vector graphics) based on data from the World Bank's World Development Indicators.

Further Environmental Data Visualizations

© 2019 Prof. Werner Antweiler, University of British Columbia. Contact the author: werner@sauder.ubc.ca | valid HTML