Elections seem to bring out various statements about manufacturing employment in the U.S. So, here is a review of manufacturing in the U.S. The graph here was created using FRED, which is a great resource for economic data. As a percent of all employees, manufacturing peaked in the early 1940s at 38% and has been declining ever since to now below 9%. As a total number of workers the peak was in 1979 at 19,428,00 people and bottomed out at the end of the great recession at 11,529,00 people. The numbers have recovered slightly to 12,839,00 people in 2019, but this is still shy of the 13,403,00 people in 2008 before the recession. Kevin Drum has a point on fact checking related to this in his post Fact of the Day: Manufacturing as a % of the Workforce, 1985-2020.
The eia article The United States set record for daily natural gas power burn in late July by David Manowitz (8/26/2020) explains:
In the United States, natural gas consumed by electric power plants (power burn) set a daily record high of 47.2 billion cubic feet (Bcf) on Monday, July 27, according to S&P Global Platts estimates. Consequently, on the same day, natural gas-fired generation in the Lower 48 states also reached an all-time high of 316 gigawatts (GW) in the late afternoon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Hourly Electric Grid Monitor.
Before July 27, 2020, the record for U.S. natural gas power burn to generate electricity stood at 45.4 Bcf, and it was set on August 6, 2019. Natural gas power burn exceeded 45.4 Bcf per day on seven days in July 2020 and one day in August.
What else was used to generate electricity on July 27?
Of the electricity generated on July 27 in the Lower 48 states, natural gas held the largest share at 45%, followed by coal with a 24% share. Remaining shares included nuclear at 17%, renewable energy at 12%, and other sources at 3%.
There is other information, another graph, and links to data sources (check out the Hourly Electric Grid Monitor).
The United States Drought Monitor is your source for drought information. Starting with the main graph, copied here, you can select regions and then down to state levels. From the data tab you can select time series graphs, download tabular data by selected region, as well as obtain GIS files. Climate.gov has a Weekly Drought Map page that provides information about this resource.
From NOAA’s Global Climate Report – July 2020:
The July 2020 global land and ocean surface temperature of 0.92°C (1.66°F) above the 20th century average tied with 2016 as the second highest July global temperature since records began in 1880. This value was only 0.01°C (0.02°F) shy of tying the record warm July of 2019.
The Northern Hemisphere land and ocean surface temperature was the highest in the 141-year record at 1.18°C (2.12°F) above average.
Regionally, the Caribbean region had its warmest July on record, with a temperature departure of 1.24°C (2.23°F) above average. This was 0.09°C (0.16°F) above the previous record set in 2016.
The summary includes links to the data.
The eia reports on battery storage capacity in their post Utility-scale battery storage capacity continues its upward tend in 2018 by Alex Mey, Vikram Linga, & Patricia Hutchins (8/10/2020). Their main chart is copied here.
By the end of 2018, the United States had 125 operational battery storage systems, providing a total of 869 MW of installed power capacity and 1,236 MWh of energy capacity.
There are two other graphs in the post including which regions have the most storage capacity (can you guess before you look?). There are also links to data.
The great lakes observing system has a Great Lakes Buoy Portal that provides access to data from great lakes buoys. The link first takes one to a map where buoys can be selected. For example, buoy 45028 is near Duluth, MN. The interactive graph on the page is copied here. There are other data sets which include, wind speed, wind gust, wind direction, wave height, air temp, solar radiation, along with water temp at various depths. The data download button on the page allows users to select data over various time periods. GPS coordinates of the buoy are also given. There is a lot of data here waiting to be used in a classroom.
NASA’s Vital Signs of the Planet Sea Level Sea Level page provides data on sea level. For example, since 1993 sea level has increased by about 94mm, but this is an average. In their Sea Level 101, Part Two: All Sea Level is `Local’ by Alan Buis (7/14/2020) they provide the map copied here. There is noticeable variation in sea level change around the globe. They note:
“Relative sea level” refers to the height of the ocean relative to land along a coastline. Common causes of relative sea level change include:
Changes due to heating of the ocean, and changes in ocean circulation
Changes in the volume of water in the ocean due to the melting of land ice in glaciers, ice caps, and ice sheets, as well as changes in the global water cycle
Vertical land motion (up or down movements of the land itself at a coastline, such as sinking caused by the compaction of sediments, or the rise and fall of land masses driven by the movement of continental or oceanic tectonic plates)
There are other graphics in the post including an animation of Greenland ice loss with a scatter plot.
In the eia post, More than 60% of energy used for electricity is lost in conversion, by Bill Sanchez (7/21/2020), includes the flow diagram here. Note the flow across the top represents conversion losses.
Electricity is a secondary energy source that is produced when primary energy sources (for example, natural gas, coal, wind) are converted into electric power.
The technology and the type of fuel used to generate electricity affect the efficiency of power plants. For example, in 2019, of the 11.9 quads of natural gas consumed for electricity generation, natural gas plants converted 45% (5.4 quads) into net generation of electricity. By contrast, of the 10.2 quads of coal consumption, coal plants converted 32% (3.3 quads) into net generation.
The post has three other graphs and links to electricity data.
From NOAA’s Global Climate Report – June 2020:
Averaged as a whole, the global land and ocean surface temperature for June 2020 was 0.92°C (1.66°F) above the 20th century average of 15.5°C (59.9°F), tying with 2015 as the third highest June temperature departure from average in the 141-year record.
Nine of the 10 warmest Junes have occurred since 2010; the seven warmest Junes have occurred in the last seven years (2014–2020).
The June 2020 global land-only surface temperature was also the third highest for June at 1.29°C (2.32°F) above average. The global ocean-only surface temperature of 0.77°C (1.39°F) was also the third highest for June in the 141-year record.
The links in the quotes are to the related time series data.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics post 60 percent of college graduates born from 1980 to 1984 were married at age 33 (6/30/2020) provides the chart copied here.
At age 33, people with higher levels of education were more likely to be married and less likely to be cohabiting than those with lower levels of education. At the time of their 33rd birthday, 32 percent of high school dropouts, 42 percent of high school graduates with no college, 49 percent of people with some college or an associate degree, and 60 percent of college graduates were married. Twenty-eight percent of those with less than a high school diploma were cohabiting, compared with only 13 percent of those with a bachelor’s degree and higher.
For related data, see the Census Bureau Educational Attainment in the United States: 2019 Table 2. For people 25 years and over no more than 53% of those that didn’t complete at least an Associates degree here married. For those that have a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, Professional degree, and Doctoral degree the percentage are 63%, 68%, 71%, and 73% respectively.