A few posts ago I posted about Vital Signs of the Planet from NASA as place for graphs and data. I also recently noted the NASA Scientific Visualization Studio. Putting the two together here is a visualization of changes of Greenland Ice (click anywhere to play) and again you can get the data from NASA’s Vital Signs of the Planet.
Stats classes are always looking for interesting data. One place to look in YouGov. For example, they did a poll (Note: it is not clear how the sample was obtained but they do provide a sample size.) asking people if life is fair. Here are the results by gender.
- Do you think life is fair or not fair?
|Life is fair||38||46||31|
|Life is not fair||46||40||51|
You are set for a statistical test comparing Male vs Female perception of life being fair or not. This now allows for a discussion of why women would respond differently than men. One extra bonus on the site is you can look at the same questions broken down by other categories including income. Go to the YouGov Results page to see the data they have.
The crack in the Larsen C ice shelf has been in the news recently. For instance Newsweek’s Another Huge Crack has Appeared on the Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf or the BBC’s The Crack that is Redrawing the World’s Map. Both articles seem to stem from the Project Midas news release A new branch of the rift on Larsen C (they made the map here). The Newsweek article notes:
Current projections indicate that if the Larsen C ice shelf disintegrates, it could raise sea levels by up to 10cm.
A NASA report, Breaking the ice: Antarctic rifts and future sea level is a little more precise:
Yet even if the whole ice shelf were to break up, Fricker said, the resulting sea level rise would be minimal. The glaciers held back by the shelf are not so imposing.
“The Larsen C ice shelf only holds back about one centimeter of global sea level rise,” she said.
Still, the crack in Larsen C could be a bellwether for ice shelves elsewhere on the continent, Rignot said.
“What we are seeing on Larsen C has implications for the big ice shelves farther south that hold considerable (sea level) potential,” he said. The loss of these larger ice shelves and the resulting acceleration of glacial calving could amount to meters of sea level rise in the decades and centuries to come.
The NASA article does provide some balance:
Ice shelf demise, or business as usual?
The crack could be the start of a period of sustained retreat, similar to what happened to Larsen B, said Ala Khazendar, a JPL scientist who has investigated both Larsen B and Larsen C. An increasingly weakened ice shelf allows glaciers to speed their flow into the ocean, and the shelf, unable to recover its former bulk and solidity, disintegrates.
Or, this could turn out to be a normal calving episode.
“We have no way yet of knowing whether Larsen C is doing what Larsen C has been doing for thousands of years, or whether we are witnessing the beginning of the end of Larsen C,” he said.
If you are talking about climate change in the classroom, the NASA article is excellent for further readings and discussion as well as the Project Midas site. There is some interesting science here in understanding ice.
Vital Signs of the Planet from NASA is a place for graphs and data. The graph here is change in the mass of the Greenland Ice Sheet. On the Land Ice page there is also a graph of changes in the Antarctica Ice. Underneath each graph is a link to data (HTTP), which will give you data for both Greenland and Antarctica ice as well as sea level change. All three sets can be used for linear regression or multiple regression predicting sea level change based on both ice mass changes (recall that melting sea ice doesn’t raise sea levels but land ice does).
This move is from NOAA and embedded in their page Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide where you can download a full resolution version of this animation. There is a lot of information in this video and simply reading the information could be a challenge for students.
A NOAA news report, Global Climate Report – March 2017 Monthly temperature anomalies versus El Niño, provides us with the graph here of monthly temperature colored coded by ENSO events. The report notes that
March 2017 marks the first time since April 2016 that the global land and ocean temperature departure from average is greater than 1.0°C (1.8°F).
This is also the first time a monthly temperature departure from average surpasses 1.0°C (1.8°F) in the absence of an El Niño episode in the tropical Pacific Ocean.
March 2017 tied with January 2016 as the fifth highest monthly global land and ocean temperature departure from average on record (1,647 monthly records).
According to the NOAA report Carbon dioxide levels rose at record pace for 2nd straight year (graph here from their report).
“The rate of CO2 growth over the last decade is 100 to 200 times faster than what the Earth experienced during the transition from the last Ice Age,” Tans said. “This is a real shock to the atmosphere.”
Globally averaged CO2 levels passed 400 ppm in 2015 — a 43-percent increase over pre-industrial levels. In February 2017, CO2 levels at Mauna Loa had already climbed to 406.42 ppm.
The Economic Policy Institute has a State of Working America Data Library. Here you will find downloadable excel files on employment and wages by race and gender. For example, you might be interested in the median hourly wages for men and women over time (see the graph – you can guess which is women and men). Not only is the data suitable for regression, but also for rich discussion on equality and policy. This data set will get added to the statistics material pages.
Kevin Drum keep us updated on the lead crime hypothesis. His latest post on this topic: Lead Update: White Folks and Alabama Prisoners.
The lead hypothesis predicts that young cohorts are less crime prone than older cohorts, so their share of the jail and prison population should decline. It predicts that black crime rates will drop faster than white crime rates. And it also predicts that small-city crime rates will drop faster than big-city crime rates. All of these things have turned out to be true.
The lead crime connection has an element of environmental racism, which is not often discussed. In Statistics Materials you’ll find lead and crime data for linear regression and further information.
According to Climate Policy Observer EU electricity companies to cut investment in coal plants after 2020. While this is good news there is still a long way to go.
However, coal remains an important energy source for many European member states. According to the most recent EURACOAL data analysis, in 2014 EU indigenous coal and lignite production exceeded indigenous natural gas production by 28 percent and indigenous oil production by 78 percent.
If all existing coal plants continue operating to the end of their full life span, Climate Analytics highlights, the EU will by far exceed the level of emissions from coal compatible with the Paris Agreement’s commitments. For the EU to remain within its carbon budget, 25 percent of currently operating coal-fired power units need to be shut down by 2020, rising to 72 percent by 2025, before a complete shutdown by 2030, the study finds.
U.S. coal use has been on the decline and you can find U.S. coal data in Calculus Materials.