...NASA has come up with a new animation that makes this point far more vividly than any static bar chart could.
It simply plots summer temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere, starting in the 1950s, showing the number of days that were unusually hot (red), unusually cold (blue) or pretty much normal (gray).
Back in the ‘50s, the plot is a nearly perfect normal distribution (more commonly known as a bell curve), with just as many days falling on the cold side as the warm side.
It’s what you’d expect if temperatures were going up and down randomly.
But as the animation moves forward in time, the bell begins to slide to the right: unusually cold days diminish drastically, while unusually hot days become more and more common.
By the time the animation ends, in 2011, there’s a whole lot more red than blue.
So if you think summers are getting hotter, you’re absolutely right.