Posts tagged "environment"

Blueprint for a carbon-free world

Getting to 100 percent renewable energy seems like such a far away goal at this point in time – which is why Mark Jacobson has a plan. Mark Jacobson, a Stanford engineering professor, believes the world can eliminate fossil fuels and rely on 100 percent renewable energy. Following up on his state-by-state road map for the United States, he has now released data on plans for how 139 countries could...

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Plant life cycle shows a breathing Earth

NASA mapped the annual cycle of all plant life on the planet in this animated map. Satellite instruments reveal the yearly cycle of plant life on the land and in the water. On land, the images represent the density of plant growth, while in the oceans they show the chlorophyll concentration from tiny, plant-like organisms called phytoplankton. From December to February, during the northern hemisphere winter, plant life in the...

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Melting Greenland

This map-centric piece from the New York Times is good. They keep refining the art of storytelling with a mix of mediums and are clearly a step above the rest. In this case, the map navigates you as you scroll and shows you where to look. Tags: environment, Greenland, New York Times

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Particles swirling in the atmosphere

x Gavin Schmidt shows different types of particles that swirl around in our atmosphere: "Different kinds of particles are a different color," explains climate scientist, Gavin Schmidt. "The easiest to see are the reddy-orange particles; those are dust and you can see them streaming them off the Sahara," Also worth noting: white particles (pollution from burning coal and volcanoes); red dots (fires over a particular period); and blue color (seasalt...

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Way more trees than previously thought, new estimates show

x https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqdOkXQngw8 There are a lot of trees on this planet. But how many trees there actually are is still kind of fuzzy, because the estimates are based on satellite imagery. It's hard to gauge density. Research by T. W. Crowther et al., recently published in Nature, used on-the-ground sampling to estimate more accurately. The global extent and distribution of forest trees is central to our understanding of the terrestrial...

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Traded animals

Based on data from the CITES Trade Database, "more than 27 million animals were traded internationally in 2013 for purposes ranging from garment production to traditional Chinese medicine, trophies, and scientific testing." This National Geographic interactive by Fathom Information Design shows the various species that were traded and to what extent. Using packed circles, the data is shown in a hierarchical format, with large animal groups, such as reptiles, bird,...

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Illegal to collect environmental data in Wyoming

Wyoming just passed a law that makes it illegal to collect data about the environment, if you intend to send it to a federal or state government agency. The reason? The state wants to conceal the fact that many of its streams are contaminated by E. coli bacteria, strains of which can cause serious health problems, even death. A small organization called Western Watersheds Project (which I represent pro bono...

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Life cycle of Earth’s carbon dioxide

The Cartography and Geovisualization Group at Oregon State University and NASA visualized a one-year life cycle of carbon dioxide in an interactive video map. The visualization is a product of a simulation called a "Nature Run." The Nature Run ingests real data on atmospheric conditions and the emission of greenhouse gases and both natural and man-made particulates. The model is then left to run on its own and simulate the...

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Map of global carbon emissions

Using data from the Earth System Research Laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Kennedy Elliott for the Washington Post mapped average grams of carbon dioxide worldwide. As Elliot notes, "Mapping fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions is a lot like mapping population density, because the source of this type of greenhouse gas is caused by human activity and infrastructure." So you can put away that xkcd comic on population...

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Wearable data objects that represent air pollution

For the most part, air pollution is invisible, so Stefanie Posavec and Miriam Quick created data objects to help see and experience the stuff you breathe. The glasses above represent large particulates, small particulates, and nitrogen dioxide. The larger patterns cloud the wearer's vision, providing a subtle indicator of differences in pollution levels between days. We wanted to ensure the data on the glasses could be experienced in two ways:...

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