Animation

GIFs: California Reservoirs From Drought to Deluge

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo April 20, 2017

A five-year drought in California ended spectacularly this winter, with the state emerging from one of its driest periods on record by enduring one of its wettest. Reservoirs, lakes, and mountainsides are now brimming with water and snow, though scientists caution that the unseen reservoirs—underground aquifers—are a long way from having the same bounty that is visible on the land surface. [Full post on NASA Earth Observatory]

Trinity Lake, the third largest reservoir in the state (after Lake Oroville and Shasta Lake). The artificial lake in northern California connects to the Trinity River and is part of the Sacramento basin. On April 29, 2015, Trinity stood at 59 percent of its historical average level for that date; by April 2, 2017, it stood at 114 percent.

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GIFs: Shanghai Adds 10 Manhattans

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo April 1, 2017

Before I did my googling and math, I couldn’t believe it but here it is: Shanghai has added as much land as 10 Manhattans over the past couple of decades. Here are some satellite images as witness:

The number of people living in Shanghai is not the only thing about the city that has increased dramatically since the 1980s. The amount of land available to its residents has grown as well. By building seawalls just off the coast to capture outflowing sediment, and by using dredging equipment that sucks up and moves large volumes of sand, Shanghai has added well over 580 square kilometers (220 square miles) of land to its shorelines since 1985.

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GIFs: Spanish Peaks Turn Tan (by NASA)

Michael Animation, Photo March 5, 2017

来自非洲撒哈拉大沙漠的沙尘千里迢迢洒在了西班牙的雪山上,山舞银蛇的景象不再,在滑雪爱好者眼中尤其大煞风景。【原文见NASA Earth Observatory

Two days after it was lofted into the air over the Sahara Desert on February 20, dust blew north into Spain and Europe. As dust particles settled down en masse on the snow-covered peaks of Spain’s Sierra Nevadas, they left the mountains a very different color. [GIF shows Feb. 18 – Feb. 27, 2017. Original post on NASA Earth Observatory]

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Yoyo’s 2017 Resolution: Beat Federer (After Murray)

Michael Animation, Video December 31, 2016

My son has had a fulfilling 2016: winning chess trophies and making leaping progress in piano. And he also beat Andy Murray (video below). Among his 2017 (parents-bestowed) New Year resolutions is: beating Roger Federer in the new tennis season. I, for one, have a lot of hope on that…

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Red Alert for Beijing Air Looks More Like Orange on NASA Map

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo December 23, 2016

北京12月中的空气污染红色警报再次牵动了大家脆弱的心肺,但是在NASA的空气污染色阶图中,北京天津似乎也就是个橙色级别,再看看石家庄才叫红得骄傲呢。NASA原文及滚动条互动图点这里

Smog was particularly bad in cities like Beijing, which declared a five-day pollution “red alert” on December 16. The Chinese capital reached dangerous levels of more than 400 micrograms per cubic meter. In Shijiazhuang, capital of the Hebei province, airborne pollutants surpassed World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines by 100 times on December 19. (A safe level is 10-25 micrograms per cubic meter of PM2.5, according to the WHO.)

Fine, airborne particulate matter (PM) that is smaller than 2.5 microns (about one thirtieth the width of a human hair) can cause lung damage. Industrial practices like fossil fuel burning and agricultural fires produce most PM2.5aerosol particles. Despite efforts to curb these emissions, China continues to struggle with its air quality.

From space, the smog appears gray. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a natural-color image (top) of northeastern China on December 22, 2016. Heavy, gray smog shrouds parts of the country, while the brightest, whiter areas are likely clouds or fog. The second image shows the severity of haze as measured by satellite, with deepest reds indicating the most affected areas. The map is based on MODIS measurements of aerosol optical depth—how much sunlight the aerosol particles prevent from reaching the ground.

For full NASA post and interactive slider image tap here.

Moonshot 2016

Michael Animation, Interactive, Photo November 13, 2016

November 2016 has been an eventful month in the US. Someone has made a moonshot in the most colorful presidential election. And here below are some of my moon shots, starting with the biggest full moon in almost a century on November 13, with a few variations of shutter speed, in GIF:

moon_shutter-speeds_20161113

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Top 10 GIFs on Climate for Trump

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo November 9, 2016

Dear President Trump,

Congratulations on being elected the 45th President of the United States.

In all seriousness though, I have to say climate change isn’t some scheme cooked up by the Chinese, which I am one of. Look at this chart below showing the historical CO2 emissions of the US, Asia and China, my best estimate is that China will probably catch up on the US as the biggest cumulative emitter by 2045-2050. But I am hoping that you will provide much needed leadership on this regard and push both the US and China to the positive direction and for the good of all humanity.

Asia would have surpassed the United States as the world's largest cumulative CO2 emitter by 2016. (In the chart below, the leogryph icon, from the Asia Society logo, in the orange background represents Asia)

Asia would have surpassed the United States as the world’s largest cumulative CO2 emitter by 2016.

Now here are 10 most important GIF animated pictures/maps/etc. that you may want to have a quick read/watch before entering the White House: Read More

Arctic Ice Meltdown Has Gone So Bad…

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Video November 4, 2016

Every year in September or October (before Halloween probably), the Arctic ice cover drops to its minimum size. According to NASA, the ice meltdown in the Arctic has been nothing but heart breaking. If you care a tiny bit about climate change, you’ve probably seen the arctic ice cover shrinking in an animation or video or something. Yet what you are about to see below is many times more alarming. The key message is: old ice cover in the Arctic has shrunk to 6% of what it was in 1984. [Read caption for details.]

The age of the ice is represented in shades of blue-gray to white, with the brightest whites representing the oldest ice. In September 1984, there were 1.86 million square kilometers of old ice (5 years or older) spread across the Arctic at its yearly minimum extent. In September 2016, there were only 110,000 square kilometers of older sea ice left. Original post on NASA

The age of the ice is represented in shades of blue-gray to white, with the brightest whites representing the oldest ice. In September 1984, there were 1.86 million square kilometers of old ice (5 years or older) spread across the Arctic at its yearly minimum extent. In September 2016, there were only 110,000 square kilometers of older sea ice left. Original post on NASA

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