Data & Graphics

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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Poll: When Will Sea Level Rise to Deadly Levels

Michael Data & Graphics, Interactive, Photo October 1, 2016

做气候变化和环境议题也有些年头了,理论和模型也了解了不少,但是这个跨世纪的全球大难题最确定的就是诸多的不确定性——比如海平面上升啥时候真的会威胁到我们的海滨城市呢?【点这里看ClimateCentral.org的一系列全球升温两摄氏度和四度的海平面上升对城市影响的系列假想图。】

在举国度假的闲暇,还是一起娱乐一下吧,不想总是那么严肃和忧虑了,看看自己朋友圈里的大伙们是乐观还是悲观占主流吧【纯娱乐,没有正确答案,如果声称掌握正确答案的,可以请Elon Musk的SpaceX过几年发配火星了】:请从四个答案中选择一个你认为最靠谱的,海平面上升会淹没很多海滨城市CBD核心区的年份!

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Quiz: Attendance and Literacy for Kids

Michael Data & Graphics, Interactive September 30, 2016

Now that I have a loved one in a public school already (I know, time flies), I have more space or CPU in my brain to pay attention to early education and issues related to school. It is a steep learning curve, but an enlightening one.

One of the days in my son’s first month of his PreK year, I went in to be lectured about attendance, and came back home appreciative that I went. The biggest take-away is that attendance, even at an early age like kindergarten could have striking influence over a young child’s reading competency by the third grade, at least that is what a 2011 California study finds. Here below have some fun guessing how much 5% absence or less (during both kindergarten and first grade years) will translate into young students’ reading competencies two years later.

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Perspective B: Climate Ain’t A Joke (, Politics Might Be)

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo, Video September 22, 2016

Earlier this year, I dived into the New York City public school application mechanism and studied everything inside out, upside down. By May, my family got the letter from the Department of Education notifying us that my son got into our dream school. And his first couple of weeks in this school have been nothing but perfect.

Now this is about something that is also close to my heart but is way out of my control, or out of control by our species at large. (Someone correct me if I am wrong , please!) I have also studied the question of climate crisis for a number of years and it is worrisome, and alarming to be precise.

First, take a look at the 20-year difference between these what I’d call heat maps, color coding the temperatures’ anomalies compared against the 1951-1980 average. In August 20 years ago, only Antarctica was boiling like a hot pot. This past month, the world map looks as orange (and red) like a U.S. presidential nominee. I don’t think there’s anything else that needs to be said about such a drastic change in just a generation. (For more about the maps and to generate your own months or versions, click on the links on “NASA” in captions.)

Anomaly map of world temperatures in August 1996 vs. 1951-1980 (via NASA)

 

Anomaly map of world temperatures in August 2016 vs. 1951-1980 (via NASA)

Anomaly map of world temperatures in August 2016 vs. 1951-1980 (via NASA)

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GIF: Tibet Dumped World’s Largest Ice Avalanche

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo September 6, 2016

On July 17, 2016, a huge stream of ice and rock tumbled down a narrow valley in the Aru Range of Tibet. When the ice stopped moving, it had spread a 30-meter-thick pile of debris across 10 square kilometers. Nine people, 350 sheep, and 110 yaks in the remote village of Dungru were killed during the avalanche.

[Before and after ice fall on July 17. Images showing June 24 and July 21, 2016 via NASA, original post here]

7月17日,西藏阿鲁错湖边的一个冰川怒了,甩了个大包袱下了山,一个创世界纪录的冰崩,在山脚下10平方公里铺开了一个厚达30米的冰床,九人和数百头牲畜当场死亡。【NASA原文点这里

“On July 17, 2016, a huge stream of ice and rock tumbled down a narrow valley in the Aru Range of Tibet. When the ice stopped moving, it had spread a 30-meter-thick pile of debris across 10 square kilometers. Nine people, 350 sheep, and 110 yaks in the remote village of Dungru were killed during the avalanche. ”

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Flooding: Yangtze Vs. Ganges

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo August 24, 2016
ganges_tmo_2015-2016

Ganges River near Patna on August 10, 2015 and August 21, 2016, via NASA

中印看来是两个难兄难弟,两个备受洪水肆虐的文明古国。不过,今年的洪水季,印度恒河的洪水看上去要来得更猛烈些,这场景才更叫看海模式吧!如下图2015年8月与2016年8月的对比动图【NASA原文点这里】:

In August 2016, heavy monsoon rains pushed the Ganges and other rivers in eastern and central India to the breaking point.These images use a combination of infrared and visible light to increase contrast between water and land. Water is blue. Vegetation is green. Notice that the water is a slightly lighter shade of blue in the lower image due to all the suspended sediment in the water.

 

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Floods along the Yangtze 2016, 2011

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo August 8, 2016
March 27 vs July 28, 2016 along the Yangtze River

March 27 vs July 28, 2016 along the Yangtze River

以上是一组对比今年3月27日和7月28日长江中游沿岸以及洞庭、鄱阳两大湖水位变化的动图。如果两大湖春季的水位更接近正常的话,恐怕今年汛期的洪灾将更加惨烈。今年的洪灾已经造成了220亿美元的损失,也成为仅次于1998年洪灾的中国第二大最具破坏性的天气灾害事件,也是1980年有记录以来全球(美国以外)第五大最具破坏性的自然灾害事件(下图)。【NASA原文点这里

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Heat Island Effect Thermal Imaged in NYC

Michael Data & Graphics, Photo July 17, 2016

热成像拍摄纽约热岛效应及雾霾的增温效果

The Statue of Liberty trapped in smog-generated heat

50F = 10C, 68F = 20C, 86F = 30C

纽约的这点雾霾(以上右图)对于见过世面的国人来说最多也就是点雾吧(这里看到的所谓的霾应该大多是臭氧)。即使就这点雾霾,也令地表空气和地面温度陡然升高,比海水高出近20华氏度,专家说,这些颗粒物和水汽会散发红外波段的“长波热辐射”,地面在阳光和这些辐射的共同作用下,温度就比周围环境高出许多。幸好雾霾在北京的夏天不是爆发季。拍摄者是 Nickolay Lamm,是几年前的一个7月用热成像相机在纽约拍摄的。

The water remains relatively cool (blue) all day while the Statue of Liberty warms up when exposed to the sun (red). A haze layer exits near the ground, and the particles and droplets in this layer emit “longwave thermal radiation” in the far infrared portion of the spectrum. The haze closest to the ground is relatively warm (red, orange), while the temperature decreases with increasing altitude (yellow to green to blue). The ground is heated both by sunlight and the longwave radiation emitted by the atmosphere. Haze layers over urban areas increase the longwave heating, especially overnight, and promote warmer temperatures.

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