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GIF: Global Temperatures, Dubai Palm Island Building

Michael Data & Graphics, Interactive, Photo, Video May 27, 2016

Month after month, the world’s temperature records have been reset over and over again. And NASA Earth Observatory archive has it all. First one below on the rising temperatures on a global scale over more than a century, decade by decade with latest one of 2005-2014; second one about the first artificial palm island Dubai built on a beachfront.

According to an ongoing temperature analysis conducted by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the average global temperature on Earth has increased by about 0.8° Celsius (1.4° Fahrenheit) since 1880. Two-thirds of the warming has occurred since 1975, at a rate of roughly 0.15-0.20°C per decade.

According to an ongoing temperature analysis conducted by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the average global temperature on Earth has increased by about 0.8° Celsius (1.4° Fahrenheit) since 1880. Two-thirds of the warming has occurred since 1975, at a rate of roughly 0.15-0.20°C per decade.

 

The first Palm Island constructed was Palm Jumeirah, and the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite observed its progress from 2000 to 2011. In these false-color images, bare ground appears brown, vegetation appears red, water appears dark blue, and buildings and paved surfaces appear light blue or gray.

The first Palm Island constructed was Palm Jumeirah, and the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite observed its progress from 2000 to 2011.
In these false-color images, bare ground appears brown, vegetation appears red, water appears dark blue, and buildings and paved surfaces appear light blue or gray.

Dubai, in early-morning hours, still registered temperatures in the 30s on May 28, 2016, only cooler than India.

Dubai, in early-morning hours, still registered temperatures in the 30s on May 28, 2016, only cooler than India, via earth.nullschool.net

5.23 This Week in Numbers

Michael Data & Graphics, Photo May 24, 2016

From Ian Bremmer via LinkedIn:

For the first time, Trump ahead of Clinton in national poll average.

Who is most concerned about the South China Sea?
1 Philippines
2 Vietnam
3 Japan
4 South Korea
5 Australia (!)

GIF: Amazon Deforestation & Mountaintop Mining

Michael Data & Graphics, Interactive, Photo May 23, 2016

Another couple of pieces of gem from NASA Earth Observatory’s archive, first about the catastrophic mountaintop mining happening in West Virginia (1984-2015) and the other about deforestation (2000-2012) in the Amazon.

This time-series of images of a surface mine in Boone County, West Virginia, illustrates why this controversial mining method is also called “mountaintop removal.” Based on data from Landsat 5, 7, and 8, these natural-color images document the growth of the Hobet mine as it moves from ridge to ridge between 1984 to 2015.

This time-series of images of a surface mine in Boone County, West Virginia, illustrates why this controversial mining method is also called “mountaintop removal.” Based on data from Landsat 5, 7, and 8, these natural-color images document the growth of the Hobet mine as it moves from ridge to ridge between 1984 to 2015. See original post for animation of a lot more images.

 

By the start of this satellite time series from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite, the frontier had reached the remote northwest corner of Rondônia. Intact forest is deep green, while cleared areas are tan (bare ground) or light green (crops, pasture, or occasionally, second-growth forest). Over the span of 12 years, roads and clearings pushed west-northwest from Buritis toward the Jaciparaná River. The deforested area along the road into Nova Mamoré expanded north-northeast all the way to the BR-346 highway.

By the start of this satellite time series from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite, the frontier had reached the remote northwest corner of Rondônia. Intact forest is deep green, while cleared areas are tan (bare ground) or light green (crops, pasture, or occasionally, second-growth forest). Over the span of 12 years (2000-2012), roads and clearings pushed west-northwest from Buritis toward the Jaciparaná River. The deforested area along the road into Nova Mamoré expanded north-northeast all the way to the BR-346 highway. See original post for animation and more images.

The state of Rondônia in western Brazil — once home to 208,000 square kilometers of forest (about 51.4 million acres), an area slightly smaller than the state of Kansas — has become one of the most deforested parts of the Amazon. In the past three decades, clearing and degradation of the state’s forests have been rapid: 4,200 square kilometers cleared by 1978; 30,000 by 1988; and 53,300 by 1998. By 2003, an estimated 67,764 square kilometers of rainforest—an area larger than the state of West Virginia—had been cleared.

GIF: Yellow River Delta Engineered

Michael Interactive, Photo May 22, 2016

It is well known that the Yellow River, a.k.a. China’s mother river, dumps billions of tons of sediment to the sea and its floods cause havoc on the people along the watershed. Yet I first heard about that China tried to engineer a re-routing of the very end of the river flow right before it reaches the sea, via this NASA Earth Observatory post:

Between 1989 and 1995, the delta became longer and narrower along a southeast-bending arc. In 1996, however, Chinese engineers blocked the main channel and forced the river to veer northeast. By 1999, erosion and settling along the old channel caused the tip of the delta to retreat, while a new peninsula had formed to the north.

Yellow River Delta between 1989 and 2009

Between 1989 and 1995, the delta became longer and narrower along a southeast-bending arc. In 1996, however, Chinese engineers blocked the main channel and forced the river to veer northeast. By 1999, erosion and settling along the old channel caused the tip of the delta to retreat, while a new peninsula had formed to the north.

The new peninsula thickened in the next five-year interval, and what appears to be aquaculture (dark-colored rectangles) expanded significantly in areas south of the river as of 2004. By 2009, the shoreline northwest of the new river mouth had filled in considerably. This may be the outcome that the engineers were anxious to achieve: the land northwest of the newly fortified shoreline is home to an extensive field of oil and gas wells. Their protection is a primary concern.

The World’s Heat Map (also wind map)

Michael Data & Graphics, Interactive, Photo May 20, 2016

I used to awe at this genius’ work pulling off a live interactive map that shows the latest (not by minute though) winds blowing around the world. And there are actually more gems to be found here, when I read about India’s recent record breaking temperature of 51 C. Here below is in the middle of the night in Asia, when Beijing was at a cool 15.8C while most of India was approaching 40C.

The Temperature Map captured on earth.nullschool.net at 3AM May 21, 2016 China local time

The Temperature Map captured on earth.nullschool.net at 3AM May 21, 2016 China local time

For precise positioning of major cities, you can wikipedia your city of interest and pinpoint the location by modifying the URL’s location coordinates, such as “…loc=116.383333,39.916667”

For instance, if you are trying to find Beijing, you’d enter the above coordinates value at the end following “loc=” as you will find the coordinates of Beijing by clicking this on Beijing’s wikipedia page 39°55′N 116°23′E which leads to this GeoHack page for Beijing.

 

GIF: Beetle Infestation Eats Up Forests in the Rockies

Michael Interactive, Photo May 18, 2016

Another interesting bird’s-eye view of the wipe out of large forests in the Rocky Mountains, via NASA Earth Observatory:

In Colorado, severe beetle infestations showed up in lodgepole pine forests about 50 miles west of Boulder and Fort Collins around 2000. Over time, the affected area grew so that by 2011 the infestation had spread east to ponderosa pine forests that were much closer to the two cities.

In Colorado, severe beetle infestations showed up in lodgepole pine forests about 50 miles west of Boulder and Fort Collins around 2000. Over time, the affected area grew so that by 2011 the infestation had spread east to ponderosa pine forests that were much closer to the two cities.

A single pine bark beetle is about the size of a grain of rice. But when the beetle population swells, it can have a major impact on forest health. And that’s exactly what has been happening across the Rocky Mountains over the past decade.

GIF: Time Traveling in China by Dheera Venkatraman

Michael Data & Graphics, Interactive, Photo May 18, 2016

Really amazed by this MIT scientist/photographer who has taken this to an artistic level, documenting the dramatic changes over the landscapes of many Chinese cities. There are more on his site here.

Pudong, Shanghai, circa 1920-2009

Pudong, Shanghai, circa 1920-2009, (Unknown, Dheera Venkatraman)

Shanghai via satellite, 1984-2012, (Google Earth)

Shanghai via satellite, 1984-2012, (Google Earth)

 

Lanzhou, China, circa 1930-2016,

Lanzhou, China, circa 1930-2016, (Unknown, Dheera Venkatraman)

 

Chengdu, China, 1994-2016, (Unknown, Dheera Venkatraman)

Chengdu, China, 1994-2016, (Unknown, Dheera Venkatraman)

 

Guangzhou, China, circa 1970-2016, (Unknown, Dheera Venkatraman)

Guangzhou, China, circa 1970-2016, (Unknown, Dheera Venkatraman)

 

Yibin, China, circa 1940-2016, (Unknown, Dheera Venkatraman)

Yibin, China, circa 1940-2016, (Unknown, Dheera Venkatraman)

 

Guiyang, China, circa 1920-2016, (Unknown, Dheera Venkatraman)

Guiyang, China, circa 1920-2016, (Unknown, Dheera Venkatraman)

Original post on ChinaFile.com

5.16 This Week in Numbers

Michael Data & Graphics, Photo May 15, 2016

Occupations of persons from the Panama Papers, via this awesome blog:

From Ian Bremmer via LinkedIn:

A good way to look at widening wealth gap in America

Average internet speed, megabytes per second
Singapore 98.5
Hong Kong 92.6
S Korea 79
Kuwait 76.5
Romania 71.6
US 53.5

On average, women earn 18% less than men. Not in the UAE though. Too bad women only make up 13% of the labor force there.

From others:

GIF: Cities Under Water 2C vs. 4C Temperature Rises

Michael Interactive, Photo May 15, 2016

A few months ago, I wrote on ChinaFile.com about the dramatic renditions of climate change impacts on major cities around the world, with large swaths of urban centers flooded by rising waters, between the 2C and 4C temperature rise scenarios. A huge tip of my hat to ClimateCentral.org for their genius and artistic work on visualizing the consequences of climate crisis.

Shanghai under water 2C vs. 4C temperature rises, via ClimateCentral.org

Shanghai under water 2C vs. 4C temperature rises, via ClimateCentral.org

Lower Manhattan under water 2C vs. 4C temperature rises, via ClimateCentral.org

Lower Manhattan under water 2C vs. 4C temperature rises, via ClimateCentral.org

Sydney under water 2C vs 4C temperature rises

Sydney under water 2C vs 4C temperature rises, via ClimateCentral.org

London under water 2C vs 4C temperature rises, via ClimateCentral.org

London under water 2C vs 4C temperature rises, via ClimateCentral.org

GIF: Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge Half Built

Michael Interactive, Photo May 14, 2016

Here’s the first half of the world’s soon-to-be longest water crossing, before it was built and now half way there, via NASA Earth Observatory:

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge over Pearl River Estuary 2013-2016

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge over Pearl River Estuary 2013-2016

If you want to get from Macau or Zhuhai to Hong Kong, you either have to take a boat or drive at least four hours (200 kilometers) across southeastern China. An ambitious engineering project intends to shorten that drive time to 40 minutes.

The HKZM connector will include roughly 42 kilometers (26 miles) of bridges over water, with another 7 kilometers (4 miles) passing through a submarine tunnel. The estimated $132 billion (Hong Kong) project will include three cable-stayed bridges and long stretches of causeways; the longest bridge section will be 29.6 kilometers (18.4 miles) long. Three lanes of traffic will move in each direction, roughly east-west across the water. Once completed, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge will be one of the longest water crossings in the world, equivalent to about 15 Golden Gate Bridges.

5.9 This Week in Numbers

Michael Data & Graphics, Photo May 10, 2016

Via McKinsey:

From Ian Bremmer via LinkedIn:

Most languages spoken
1 Papua New Guinea 839
2 Indonesia 707
3 Nigeria 526
4 India 454
5 US 422
6 China 300
7 Mexico 289
8 Cameroon 281

Firearm homicide rates: how US cities compare to the rest of the world

Peak British Empire (1921)

GIF: Floods Seen From Space

Michael Photo May 9, 2016

Floods can be devastating, and they can be surreal too, seen from space. This below, thanks to NASA Earth Observatory, shows a flood event in 2011 that looks like a giant bulldozer having widened the whole James River, meanwhile smoothing out all the twists and turns along the way.

A tributary of the Missouri River, the James River experienced significant flooding in the spring of 2011. In early June 2011, the river was high enough to fill the river valley near the town of Mitchell, South Dakota.

A tributary of the Missouri River, the James River experienced significant flooding in the spring of 2011. In early June 2011, the river was high enough to fill the river valley near the town of Mitchell, South Dakota.

And here is a scene on Missouri River, also seen from space:

By early June 2011, the Missouri River had risen enough to submerge normally dry land, including some agricultural land, west of Lewis and Clark Lake.

By early June 2011, the Missouri River had risen enough to submerge normally dry land, including some agricultural land, west of Lewis and Clark Lake.


Here are a bunch of floods in China over the years, and the river monsters were pretty horrific, visually:

Flood waters continue to rise on the Amur (Heilongjiang) River and its tributaries in northeast China and southeast Russia. The floods are affecting millions, forcing evacuations, closing ports, and claiming at least 85 lives. The floods are expected to peak in early September.

Flood waters continue to rise on the Amur (Heilongjiang) River and its tributaries in northeast China and southeast Russia. The floods are affecting millions, forcing evacuations, closing ports, and claiming at least 85 lives. The floods are expected to peak in early September.

Summer rains have swollen rivers throughout northeastern China, including the Songhua River. Water levels peaked in Harbin on August 27, 2013, and have remained high. The Songhua River is one of many tributaries of the Amur (Heilongjiang) River, which is experiencing its most severe floods in a century.

Summer rains have swollen rivers throughout northeastern China, including the Songhua River. Water levels peaked in Harbin on August 27, 2013, and have remained high. The Songhua River is one of many tributaries of the Amur (Heilongjiang) River, which is experiencing its most severe floods in a century.

The recent floods followed months of devastating drought, China Daily reported. Prior to the torrential rains, 3.5 million people endured water shortages. Although the rain brought much-needed moisture, it also brought deadly floods and landslides. As of June 28, nearly 100 people had died and about 27,000 homes had been destroyed.

The recent floods followed months of devastating drought, China Daily reported. Prior to the torrential rains, 3.5 million people endured water shortages. Although the rain brought much-needed moisture, it also brought deadly floods and landslides. As of June 28, nearly 100 people had died and about 27,000 homes had been destroyed.

中国父母在纽约:2016悠悠择校的战略与战术小结

Michael Data & Graphics, Photo May 7, 2016

历时五个月的择校前的煎熬、研究学区学校做功课、填志愿和漫长的等待,我们终于在五月的第一个工作日获得了我们期待已久、梦寐以求的首选学校,迎来了一个轻松愉快的母亲节!下面简要回顾和总结一下我们身在异乡为人父母的一点择校经验:

以前都认为美国人家庭对孩子的教育基本是放羊(或放养),那真是大错特错了,一些富裕的家庭要么所在的学区是全美顶级的名校,要么捧着每年少则三万,多则大好几万的银子到私立,而且高级的私立学校不是说有钱就进的,孩子连同父母双方还要通过严苛的面试过程,可谓既富且贵的私塾。这个类型的学校不在我们考虑的范畴,等来生再分解。 Read More

GIF: Tornado’s Earth Shaving Power Seen from Space

Michael Interactive, Photo May 6, 2016

Another wonderful GIF material from NASA Earth Observatory:

Three-hundred sixty-three tornadoes raked across the southern, midwestern, and northeastern United States between April 25 and April 28, 2011. The extraordinary event proved to be the largest and costliest outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded in the United States. When the dust settled, authorities blamed the storms for the deaths of 348 people and $11 billion of damage.

Read More

5.2 This Week in Numbers

Michael Data & Graphics, Photo May 5, 2016

From Ian Bremmer via LinkedIn:

Delegates to date
Trump 1053
Sanders 1442
#MeaninglessStatistic

Hispanic eligible voters in US
1988: 7.7m
2000: 13.2
2008: 19.5
2016: 27.3

GIF: Dams on Yangtze (Three Gorges) and Euphrates

Michael Data & Graphics, Interactive, Photo May 2, 2016

NASA reminded me again of its satellite images of the Three Gorges Dam before and after the construction of the dam. Here below I dug up the before and after images and present in a simple GIF, watch for the tremendous expansion of the water surface on the Yangtze River and its numerous tributaries in this mountainous region:

Three Gorges Dam: 2000-2006 Views from Satellite (via NASA)

Three Gorges Dam: 2000-2006 Views from Satellite (via NASA)

Here below is another extreme case of changes, the human extraction of water largely contributing to the sudden shrinking of reservoir along the Euphrates River:

Shrinking of Qadisiyah Reservoir between 2006 and 2009 (via NASA)

Shrinking of Qadisiyah Reservoir between 2006 and 2009 (via NASA)

Scientists using the twin gravity-measuring satellites of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE)have found that a large portion of the Middle East lost freshwater reserves rapidly during the past decade. The research team observed the Tigris and Euphrates river basins—including parts of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran—and found that 117 million acre feet (144 cubic kilometers) of fresh water was lost from 2003 to 2009. That amount is roughly equivalent to the volume of the Dead Sea. About 60 percent of the loss was attributed to the pumping of groundwater from underground reservoirs.