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Tag Archives: data source

What are American’s view on economic inequality?

The PEW article Most Americans Say There Is Too Much Economic Inequality in the U.S., but Fewer Than Half Call it a Top Priority by Juliana Menasce Horowitz, Ruth Igielnik, and Rakesh Kochhar (1/9/2020)  is a thorough review of income and wealth inequality, as well as American’s views of inequality.  For example, the graph copied here shows the responses to if there is too much economic inequality by political affiliation.  A few highlights from the article:

From 1970 to 2018, the share of aggregate income going to middle-class households fell from 62% to 43%. Over the same period, the share held by upper-income households increased from 29% to 48%. The share flowing to lower-income households inched down from 10% in 1970 to 9% in 2018.

As of 2016, the latest year for which data are available, the typical American family had a net worth of $101,800, still less than what it held in 1998.

While a majority of Republicans overall (60%) say that people’s different choices in life contribute a great deal to economic inequality, lower-income Republicans (46%) are significantly less likely than Republicans with middle (63%) or higher (74%) incomes to say this.

There are numerous graphs in the article and a methodology section which points to the data sources.

What are EPI’s top charts of 2019?

To find the top charts of 2019 according to EPI see their Top charts of 2019 post.  The graph here is #5 on their list.

The figure shows that the real value of the federal minimum wage has dropped 17% since 2009 and 31% since 1968. A full-time worker earning the federal minimum wage today has about $6,800 less per year to spend on food, rent, and other essentials than did his or her counterpart 50 years ago.

There are 13 charts in all with data and links to the original article (for some charts you have to go to the original article to get the data).


How much has sea level risen?

The Climate.gov post Climate Change: Global Sea Level by Rebecca Lindsey (11/19/2019) notes:

Global mean sea level has risen about 8–9 inches (21–24 centimeters) since 1880, with about a third of that coming in just the last two and a half decades. The rising water level is mostly due to a combination of meltwater from glaciers and ice sheets and thermal expansion of seawater as it warms. In 2018, global mean sea level was 3.2 inches (8.1 centimeters) above the 1993 average—the highest annual average in the satellite record (1993-present)

There are other graphs and information in the post. For example, What’s causing sea level to rise?

Global warming is causing global mean sea level to rise in two ways. First, glaciers and ice sheets worldwide are melting and adding water to the ocean. Second, the volume of the ocean is expanding as the water warms. A third, much smaller contributor to sea level rise is a decline in the amount of liquid water on land—aquifers, lakes and reservoirs, rivers, soil moisture. This shift of liquid water from land to ocean is largely due to groundwater pumping.

There are links to data at the end of the post and NOAA also has sea level data that is accessible.

How hot was Australia in 2019?

The graph here is from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology Climate changes – trends and extremes page.  In 2019, the temperature was 1.52 deg C (2.7 deg F) above the 30 year average from 1961-1990, which is a new record. The second highest year is 2013 at  1.33 deg C above the average. The data is available on the page (there is a link in the box above the graph) and other attributes can be plotted. For instance, the maximum temperature for 2019 was 2.09 deg C (3.76 deg F) above the 30 year average, which is a new record with the second highest in 2013 at 1.59 deg C above the average.

How hot was November 2019?

From the NOAA Global Climate Report – November 2019:

The November 2019 global land and ocean surface temperature was 0.92°C (1.66°F) above average and the second highest November temperature in the 140-year record. Only November 2015 was warmer at +1.01°C (+1.82°F). The five warmest November global land and ocean surface temperature departures from average have occurred since 2013.

The Data can be obtained from the Climate at a Glance page.

What is the role of nuclear energy related to carbon emissions?

The IEA report Nuclear Power in a Clean Energy System (May 2019) has this to say:

Nuclear power has avoided about 55 Gt of CO2 emissions over the past 50 years, nearly equal to 2 years of global energy-related CO2 emissions. However, despite the contribution from nuclear and the rapid growth in renewables, energy-related CO2 emissions hit a record high in 2018 as electricity demand growth outpaced increases in low-carbon power.

According to the chart copied here, nuclear energy generated more TWh then wind, solar, and other renewables combined in 2018. The report has eight charts with links to the data.

What progress has been made in the poorest countries?

The World Bank Blog post Chart: Two decades of progress in the world’s poorest countries by Donna Barne (12/11/2019) provides the chart copied here.

The last two decades have seen significant progress in many of the world’s poorest countries. The extreme poverty rate fell from more than 50% to about 30%. Child mortality declined from nearly 14% to 7%. Access to electricity increased by 57% and the share of people using at least basic drinking water and sanitation services increased by 22% and 41%, respectively, among other results.

Below the chart in the post is is a link to the World Bank IDA RMS Database where you can get the data for the chart and more (individual county data or different variables). Note for the chart for this data select IDA total for country.

Got water?

A 2016 article in Nature, The world’s road to water scarcity: shortage and stress in the 20th century and pathways towards sustainability by M. Kummu et. a., looks at water scarcity and shortages (The dotted red line in the graph copied here is the proportion of the population dealing with water scarcity issues. )

Due to increasing population pressure, changing water consumption behavior, and climate change, the challenge of keeping water consumption at sustainable levels is projected to become even more difficult in the near future5,6.

The increases in population and per capita water consumption resulted in a total water consumption increase from 358 km3 yr−1 in the 1900s to 1500 km3 yr−1 in the 2000s (Fig. 1B).

The article has 6 figures and two data sets available (under electronic supplementary material – right side bar). The richness of the figures makes them useful in a QL or stats course.

A related article from National Geographic, The world’s supply of fresh water is in trouble as mountain ice vanishes by Alejandra Borunda (12/9/2019), discusses the impact of climate change on water supplied by glaciers.

The high mountains cradle more ice and snow in their peaks than exists anywhere else on the planet besides the poles. Over 200,000 glacierspiles of snow, high-elevation lakes and wetlands: All in all, the high mountains contain about half of all the fresh water humans use.

The high mountains are warming faster than the world’s average; temperatures in the high Himalaya, for example, have crept up nearly 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) since the beginning of the century, compared to a planetary average of just about 1.8 degrees F (1 degree C).

“120 million people live along the Indus,” says Immerzeel, “but the Indus plain is like a desert. It’s completely reliant on the water from the thick glaciers above.”

Of the five most important water towers in the world, three are in Asia: the Indus, the Tarim, and the Amu Darya.

How do we learn about how currents transfer heat in the ocean?

The NASA Vital Signs of the Planet article Seal Takes Ocean Heat Transport Data to New Depth by Esprit Smith (12/4/2019) explains (note photo from the article):

But how the current transfers heat, particularly vertically from the top layer of the ocean to the bottom layers and vice versa, is still not fully understood.

Equipped with a specialized sensor reminiscent of a small hat, the seal swam more than 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometers) on a three-month voyage, much of it through the turbulent, eddy-rich waters of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. The seal made around 80 dives at depths ranging from 550 to 1,090 yards (500 to 1,000 meters) per day during this time. All the while, it collected a continuous stream of data that has provided new insight into how heat moves vertically between ocean layers in this volatile region…

This type of data is available from Marine Mammals Exploring the Oceans Pole to Pole database.

Since 2004, several hundred thousands profiles of temperature and salinity have been collected by instrumented animals. The use of elephant seals has been particularly effective to sample the Southern Ocean and the North Pacific. These hydrographic data have been assembled in quality-controlled databases that can be accessed through this portal.

How is U.S. life expectancy changing?

The Economist’s daily chart Why are Americans’ lives getting shorter? (11/27/19) provides the graphic copied here.

After climbing gradually over the past half century, life expectancy in America reached a plateau in 2010 and then fell for three consecutive years from 2015 to 2017, the latest for which data are available.

Why? Some of it is due to “deaths of despair” with a 386.5% increase in adult drug overdoses from 1999 to 2017. Still:

But the authors note that mortality has increased across 35 causes of death, suggesting that the problem is systemic. Moreover, all racial and ethnic groups have been affected.

OECD life expectancy data.  Starting point for CDC data.