What I like about the work done over at Information is Beautiful is the effort they make to provide readers with two things. First, cool graphics which help readers better understand the topic at hand. In the case of the image here (this is only a small part of the much larger illustration), the topic is carbon dioxide, how many gigatons of the stuff are involved in various global cycles, and a number of relevant variables. The contribution a diagram like this makes is that the reader doesn’t necessarily have to know what a gigaton is, or have a working knowledge of global interactions to understand what the image is describing.
The beautiful part is that the graph allows almost any interested reader to understand, if not all the science and data and research, then at least the relationships. And that comprises the diagram’s second contribution: Informing readers so that they can inform others of these relationships.
This work makes complex information accessible, and the graphic is available as a downloadable .pdf for printing.