The colour of hot or inadequate heatmaps

The recent Australasian heatwave has been so unprecedented that the Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology has had to add a new colour (purple) to represent the hottest region:


But the Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology new colour is not unprecedented. In 2010/2011 the arctic got so hot that James Hansen was forced to add the colour pink to the standard scale:


It seems likely that other heatmaps will also prove inadequate to represent the extremely hot temperatures which are becoming much more common, so instead of everyone using their own colours like pink or purple, why not come up with a standard colour to represent the new, more common, extreme.


  1. For those with a perverse interest in Australian heat, I should point out that ...
    1) these temperatures are occurring in the absence of an El Nino (though the absence of a start to the monsoon season is a bit of a puzzler.)
    2) the hottest month in Australia is usually February.

    Perhaps my prediction a couple of years ago about southern Australian housing moving to earth-covered or dug-out hillside structures a la Coober Pedy might turn into an actual thing before much longer.

  2. Pingback: Another Week of GW News, January 13, 2012 – A Few Things Ill Considered

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