Sometimes, to understand the big picture, it helps to distil it down to its essentials and focus on one part at a time. That's what the European Space Agency are doing with their Climate Change Initiative (CCI), which looks at 27 essential climate variables that can be measured from space. And it's what ESA asked Planetary Visions to do when presenting the results of the project to the public.

Adopting a minimalist style and limited colour palette, we and our partners produced a series of impactful "little pictures" showing maps, graphs and conceptual infographics, some of which are shown here.
Climate Connections illustrates the complexity of Earth's climate by showing interconnections between the essential climate variables studied by ESA's Climate Change Initiative. An interactive version shows the connections for each individual climate variable.

Atmospheric CO2 shows a seasonal plot (or rose diagram) of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration over Europe for each year from 2014 (light blue) to 2020 (dark red). The value has been over 400 parts per million since September 2016. The plots are asymmetric due to the absorption of carbon dioxide by plants growing through the summer.

Glacier Retreat shows glacier outlines around Zermatt in the Swiss Alps, based on historical maps and air photos from 1850, 1931, 1973, 2010 and 2016.

Other "little pictures of climate" were produced by our partners, Ubilabs and Imperative Space, based on CCI climate data processed by Brockmann Consult. They were used as exemplars for a public competition, with the winner announced by ESA at the UN Climate Conference, COP28, in Dubai in December 2023. The CCI Knowledge Exchange project is a contract for ESA's Climate Office in Harwell, UK.