Environmental Graphiti – Art by Alisa Singer inspired by the science of climate change
What is Environmental Graphiti?
- Environmental Graphiti is a growing collection of over 75 artworks that the artist Alisa Singer started to create in 2014. The collection features art inspired by scientific graphs and images that portray data on how the world has changed as a result of climate change. The Environmental Graphiti collection has five sections titled Why?, How?, Who?, What?, When?, containing artwork that addresses these questions.
- Scientific data, graphs, and visuals that the art pieces are inspired by are from reputable sources such as the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC), U.S. Global Change Research Center (USGCRC), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the journal Earth System Science Data. Subjects range widely from carbon emission rates to deforestation.
How is this related to climate?
- Singer’s artwork illustrates climate change in a colorful and engaging manner that allows people who are not scientists to visualize its effects. Singer does this by using:
- a wide variety of colors, textures, and patterns to attract the eye and make the data more digestible.
- contrasting colors and tones to illustrate different points, sections of graphs, and lines so viewers can understand the data easier.
Selection of Climate Related Artworks from Environmental Graphiti:
|Alisa Singer, American, Relationship between Emissions Levels and Temperature Rise, Digital Art||IPCC, Every tonne of CO2 emissions adds to global warming, 2021. IPCC|
|The graph showing the relationship between CO2 emission levels and temperature rise through time presents five different predictions involving varying future emission rates. In all five projected scenarios, global temperatures rise. The graph is conveying that it’s not a matter of whether global temperatures will continue to rise, but rather by how much.
Singer alludes to polluted air with her use of muddy pinks, browns, and grays. The texture of the background that surrounds the trend lines evokes the feeling of smoke and smog produced by cars or factories.
|Alisa Singer, American, Greenhouse Gas Index, Digital Art||U.S. Global Change Research Program, Annual Greenhouse Gas Index, 2021. USGCRP.|
|This graph illustrates the increases in the radiative forcing or the variation in the change of energy in the atmosphere of different greenhouse gases (left vertical axis) and the Annual Greenhouse Gas Index or how much radiative force has increased since 1990 (right vertical axis). An increase in radiative forcing means that the greenhouse gases trap more radiation from the sun in the atmosphere and cause the Earth to heat up faster. According to the graph, radiative forcing has increased by 43% since 1990.
In this artwork, Singer favors a darker color palette with high hue contrast. The color palette includes some of the blues, but adds darker greens, purples, and pinks. The background of the artwork is filled with triangular patterns and brush strokes. The sharp nature of the triangular patterns are reminiscent of spikes and triangular warning signs, which allude to the dangerous path that our climate will have to endure as a result of rising greenhouse gas emissions.
|Alisa Singer, American, Global Temperatures, Digital Art||NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Global Temperatures, 2020. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information|
|This graph depicts the change in global temperatures from 1880-2019, and illustrates that since around 1990 there has been a drastic increase in temperature.
Note Singer’s use of color in this art piece. She keeps the bold reds from the original graph and highlights the spike in temperature around 1940 with a high contrast between an extremely light blue (graph) and dark purple (background) color.
|Alisa Singer, American, Historical and Projected Global Sea Level Rise, Digital Art||Sweet et al. NOAA Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) Scenarios for 2100, 2017, NOAA|
|This graph shows the rise in global sea level since the year 1800 as well as the projected future sea level rise.
Singer uses a color palette that is reminiscent of an ocean sunset to evoke the image of a seascape. Singer also uses cooler colors (blues and purples) for the lower levels of sea rise and warmer colors (oranges) for the higher levels of sea rise.
References and additional resources
- Friedlingstein, P. et al. “Global Carbon Budget.” Earth System Science Data. vol. 11, no. 4, 2019. https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-11-1783-2019
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “Summary for Policymakers” Climate Change 2021: The Physical Basis. 2021. Pp. 37. https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/downloads/report/IPCC_AR6_WGI_Citation.pdf
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Climate at a Glance.” National Centers for Environmental Information. https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/
- Singer, A. “Global Temperatures 1880-2019.” Environmental Graphiti. https://eg-v2.squarespace.com/all-series/global-temperatures-1880-2019
- Singer, A. “Greenhouse Gas Index.” Environmental Graphiti. https://eg-v2.squarespace.com/all-series/greenhouse-gas-index
- Singer, A. “Historical and Projected Global Sea Level Rise.” Environmental Graphiti. https://eg-v2.squarespace.com/all-series/historical-and-projected-global-sea-level-rise
- Singer, A. “Relationship between Emissions Levels and Temperature Rise.” Environmental Graphiti. https://www.environmentalgraphiti.org/all-series/emissions-levels-determine-temperature-rise
- Sweet, W. et al. “Global and Regional Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States.” NOAA Technical Report NOS CO-OPS 083. 2017. Pp. 22 https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/publications/techrpt83_Global_and_Regional_SLR_Scenarios_for_the_US_final.pdf
- United States Global Change Research Program. “Annual Greenhouse Gas Index.” Global Change. 2020. https://www.globalchange.gov/browse/indicators/annual-greenhouse-gas-index