Record Warmth in 2015

Posted by – January 31, 2016

AGU reports that NASA and NOAA independently assessed that the planet’s average surface temperature jumped to a new high in 2015, except for a cool spot in the North Atlantic. Based on about 6300 stations, ships and buoys, both agencies found the average global temperature had increased compared to 2014 – which had also been a record year. NASA found the average was 0.87°C higher than the average temperature over 1951 – 1980, where NOAA found a 0.90°C increase compared to the average over 1901 – 2000. The below image, courtesy of the Scientific Visualization Studio at Goddard Space Flight Center, shows the 2015 change from the longterm average temperature, with hottest areas on Earth in red and the coldest in blue.
Global average temperature 2015
Compliments to Cody Sullivan, AGU Intern, for the excellent article in EOS this past week!

-ddw

2015 is Not Over Yet

Posted by – December 27, 2015

On the heels of devastating storms that killed 11 in North Texas December 26, @CraigatFEMA (FEMA Director Craig Fugate) warns that the rough weather will continue into the New Year, caused by a low pressure system moving slowly north/northeastward from the lower Mississippi Valley. Not only a valuable warning of the rain, snow, ice and flooding we will likely see the week of December 28-January 1, this forecast and map are examples of the fine work done by the Climate Prediction Office of the National Weather Service.
FugateMap1228
Have a Safe New Year,

-ddw
P.S. For information on the North Texas Tornadoes and to donate, please contact the American Red Cross of North Texas

Have a Data-Driven Christmas

Posted by – December 18, 2015

In a recent interview with Santa, IBM’s Graeme Noseworthy discussed the North Pole’s use of Big Data and analytics to assess who is naughty and nice for over a billion children. The North Pole collects structured and unstructured data ranging from customer profiles and gift-package radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to Offline Sibling Sentiment Data (OSSD) into a single Naughty/Nice Child Data (NNCD) database in real time that allows Santa align children’s behavior and requests with appropriate gifts.

Nope, nothing creepy about that!

The below infographic summarizes the data structure, and is the xAnalytica Christmas Graphic for 2015:
holiday_final
Runner up was Huskie’s analysis of the best days to go Christmas shopping in Dublin. xAnalytica’s Christmas Graphics from previous years:

Happy Holidays!

-ddw

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Empty Mass

Posted by – December 7, 2015

For your Monday morning commute, I repost the Washington DC Metro System Map, re-labelled with anagrams. My daily commute on the No Rage Line from Faux Van Magnifier to Hemp Scorn Sq. will never be the same:
AnagramWMATA
Kudos to CharonX, via Reddit
-ddw

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Planning for Space Weather

Posted by – November 15, 2015

Capping off a year-long interagency collaboration, the White House has released the National Space Weather Action Plan to improve national resilience to the potentially devastating effects of major solar flares.

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center provides a useful summary of current conditions and predictions, including a series of dashboards summarizing information targeted at specific user communities, such as Emergency Managers.

Thanks to AGU for the tip!

-ddw

World’s Most Accurate Pie Chart

Posted by – September 1, 2015

I am not a fan of pie charts, which to me add no understanding, but this is one that works:
pie_chart
Via I F**king Love Science, with thanks to Ed for the tip!
-ddw

Unleashing Climate Data

Posted by – June 25, 2015

Freight tonnage by various modes of transportation, 2007

On June 17, the White House released over 90 data sets to help the transportation sector account for the impacts of climate change when examining and developing U.S. infrastructure. These include case studies, visualizations, tools and a compilation of key reports and websites from across the Federal government. One very well done example is above, a map of tonnage shipped by various modes of transportation, where the thickness of the lines varies by tonnage. Interesting to see how important the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers are for transport, and how much oil apparently is shipped via the Kinder Morgan Express from South Dakota to pipelines in Missouri and Illinois.

Thanks to AAAS for the tip!

-ddw

Emergency App

Posted by – May 17, 2015

The American Red Cross has released a smartphone app that helps you check on family and friends during emergencies, appropriately called Emergency:

The app is easy to use and has options for monitoring hazards in your area and for pinging loved ones that may be in the vicinity of an emergency. Load it on your kids’ phones so you can quickly check on them, too. Available for free download (Android or iOS) – ahora disponible en español también!

-ddw

@CraigatFEMA

Posted by – May 4, 2015

FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate has his own Twitter stream, @CraigatFEMA, and often tweets useful information on disasters, conferences, and policies. One of his most recent was to highlight a map of the potential for wildland fires across the US:
Map of fire potential for U.S.
-ddw

Visualizing Hurricane Track Uncertainty

Posted by – April 19, 2015

The National Hurricane Center has steadily improved hurricane models over the past 25 years, as shown in this animation of uncertainties in the 48-hour predicted location of a hurricane’s center (mp4 video):
NHC 48 hr forecast uncertainty

NHC is also prototyping
storm surge mapping tools and conducting in-house (non-public) experiments with extending tropical cyclone track and intensity forecasts to seven days from the current five-day period; creating track and intensity forecasts for disturbances with a high chance of formation; and issuing tropical cyclone watches and warnings before cyclones form.

-ddw

P.S. Although I like seeing how uncertainty declines with time, I don’t think the animation adds much to this over the simple contours labelled by year.