environment

72 posts
Two views of earthquake occurrence in the Bay Area

This article has a nice description of earthquake occurrence in the San Francisco Bay Area. A few quantities are of interest: when the next quake occurs, the size of the quake, the epicenter of the quake, etc. The data graphic included in the article fails the self-sufficiency test: the only way to read this chart is to read out the entire data set - in other words, the graphical details...

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World map shows aerosol billowing in the wind

Using a mathematical model based on satellite data, NASA shows an estimate of aerosol in the atmosphere on August 23, 2018: The visualization above highlights GEOS FP model output for aerosols on August 23, 2018. On that day, huge plumes of smoke drifted over North America and Africa, three different tropical cyclones churned in the Pacific Ocean, and large clouds of dust blew over deserts in Africa and Asia. The...

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Environmental science can use better graphics

Mike A. pointed me to two animated maps made by Caltech researchers published in LiveScience (here). The first map animation shows the rise and fall of water levels in a part of California over time. It's an impressive feat of stitching together satellite images. Click here to play the video. The animation grabs your attention. I'm not convinced by the right side of the color scale in which the white...

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A transforming river seen from above

The Padma River in Bangladesh is constantly shifting its 75-mile path. Joshua Stevens for the NASA Earth Observatory shows what the shifting looked like through satellite imagery, over a 30-year span. Kasha Patel: The upper section of the Padma—the Harirampur region— has experienced the most erosion and shows the most notable changes. The river has become wider at this section by eroding along both banks, although most activity occurred on...

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Is the chart answering your question? Excavating the excremental growth map

San Franciscans are fed up with excremental growth. Understandably. Here is how the Economist sees it - geographically speaking. *** In the Trifecta Checkup analysis, one of the questions to ask is "What does the visual say?" and with respect to the question being asked. The question is how much has the problem of human waste in SF grew from 2011 to 2017. What does the visual say? The number...

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Surprise, the world was warmer again in 2017

According to NASA estimates, 2017 was the second warmest year on record since 1880. Henry Fountain, Jugal K. Patel, and Nadja Popovich reporting for The New York Times: What made the numbers unexpected was that last year had no El Niño, a shift in tropical Pacific weather patterns that is usually linked to record-setting heat and that contributed to record highs the previous two years. In fact, last year should...

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Mapping perceived canopy tree cover in major cities

Treepedia, from the MIT Senseable City Lab, estimates perceived tree cover at the street level. They used panorama views from Google Street View to form a “Green View Index”, which they then mapped for major cities. Treepedia measures the canopy cover in cities. Rather than count the individual number of trees, we’ve developed a scaleable and universally applicable method by analyzing the amount of green perceived while walking down the...

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Simulation shows swirling of smoke, sea salt, and dust around the world

NASA. Data. Good. Tracking the aerosols carried on the winds let scientists see the currents in our atmosphere. This visualization follows sea salt, dust, and smoke from July 31 to November 1, 2017, to reveal how these particles are transported across the map. The first thing that is noticeable is how far the particles can travel. Smoke from fires in the Pacific Northwest gets caught in a weather pattern and...

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Google maps street-level air quality using Street View cars with sensors

Google equipped their Street View cars with air quality sensors and sent them around several California areas. We’re just beginning to understand what’s possible with this hyper-local information and today, we’re starting to share some of our findings for the three California regions we’ve mapped: the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and California’s Central Valley (the Street View cars drove 100,000 miles, over the course of 4,000 hours to...

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Carbon emissions goals vs. current paths

Brad Plumer and Nadja Popovich reporting for The New York Times: Under the Paris deal, each country put forward a proposal to curtail its greenhouse-gas emissions between now and 2030. But no major industrialized country is currently on track to fulfill its pledge, according to new data from the Climate Action Tracker. Not the European Union. Not Canada. Not Japan. And not the United States, which under President Trump is...

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