What’s new at sustainabilitymath?

The links to resources page has been revamped. For those of you looking for data I think I have made it easier. There is now a box with the type of data in bold and a link. I’ve also added a spatial data box for those looking for data with lat and lon or some other spatial attribute. My goal is to add to both of these boxes over the next year.

All of the statistics projects have also been updated. The graph here is for the U.S. Oil Production project. The black dots, conventional crude oil, are still roughly fitting a normal curve. All of the increase in U.S. oil production is from tight or shale oil. Worth noting.

Feel free to email me and let me know if any of this (regular posts, projects, other) is useful and suggestions for improvement are welcome: thomas.pfaff@sustainabilitymath.org.

How hot was March 2023?

From NOAA March 2023 Global Climate Report:

March 2023 was the second-warmest March for the globe in NOAA’s 174-year record. The March global surface temperature was 1.24°C (2.23°F) above the 20th-century average of 12.7°C (54.9°F). March 2023 marked the 47th consecutive March and the 529th consecutive month with global temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th-century average. The March 2023 temperature anomaly was the third highest for all months, after March 2016 and February 2016.

Global land-only temperatures ranked second warmest on record at 2.26°C (4.07°F) above average. Ocean-only temperatures ranked third-warmest on record for March, which is an important item to note as the long-lived La Niña ends. On March 9, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center announced the end of the three-year La Niña, as well as a return to neutral El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO-neutral) conditions likely through Northern Hemisphere spring and early summer 2023.

Data is available at the top of the page.


What is Lake Mead’s Elevation?

If you aren’t good with geography you might think all the rain in California should have Lake Meade rising. As you can see from the graph Lake Mead didn’t rise much this winter and it is heading back down again. At this point dropping below 1040 ft in the next few months is likely. The previous Lake Mead post with links to the data.  I’ll check back in a couple of months.

How warm is the sea surface?

Climate Reanalyzer has an interactive time series chart of ocean temperatures. The dark black line at the top is the  current year and shall we say we are in uncharted waters.  It would  be nice if this graph was colored by ENSO status in the way NOAA has a global temperature graph by ENSO status. Why does this matter? According to a Guardian article:

La Niña periods – characterised by cooling in the central and eastern tropical Pacific and stronger trade winds – have a cooling influence on global temperatures. During El Niño periods, the ocean temperatures in those regions are warmer than usual and global temperatures are pushed up.

After a few years of La Niña we’ll see what El Niño will do to global temps.


How fast are seas rising?

The NASA post NASA Uses 30-Year Satellite Record to Track and Project Rising Seas (3/17/2023) has this to say (with calculus language):

Since satellites began observing sea surface height in 1993 with the U.S.-French TOPEX/Poseidon mission, the average global sea level has increased by 3.6 inches (9.1 centimeters), according to NASA’s Sea Level Change science team. The annual rate of rise – or how quickly sea level rise is happening – that researchers expect to see has also increased from 0.08 inches (0.20 centimeters) per year in 1993 to 0.17 inches (0.44 centimeters) per year in 2022. Based on the long-term satellite measurements, the projected rate of sea level rise will hit 0.26 inches (0.66 centimeters) per year by 2050.

Interesting fact in the article:

The 2022 increase was less than the expected annual rate because of a mild La Niña. During years with an especially strong La Niña climate pattern, average global sea level can even temporarily drop because weather patterns shift in a way that leads to more rainfall over land instead of the ocean.

NASA Sea Level page with data.


What’s new as sustainabilitymath?

The calculus projects page has been updated with the most recent data available.  Most of the trends didn’t change but solar did and hence there were some changes in the countries used in the graphs. There is also an updated Excel curve fitting directions for those using Excel (consider using R). As before there are csv files that can be accessed directly through R, included in each tile, or other software. If you have any thought about the page then let me know. Up next is the statistics projects page.

Note my resume if you are in need of some freelance data support or any other project that you think my skills would fit.


What is the most recent PIP (poverty and inequity platform) update?

The World Bank article March 2023 global poverty update from the World Bank: the challenge of estimating poverty in the pandemic (3/29/2023) reports on poverty updates:

Global poverty estimates were updated today on the Poverty and Inequality Platform (PIP). This update includes new regional poverty aggregates in 2020 and 2021 for Latin America and the Caribbean, and in 2020 for Europe and Central Asia, and the group of advanced countries. These are the regions for which we now have sufficient survey data available during the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, 113 new country-years have been added, bringing the total number of surveys to more than 2,100.

The summary with calculus terms:

It is still the case that global poverty has been falling since the 1990s, and at a slower rate since 2014 (World Bank 2022). Extreme poverty has been falling in all regions, except the Middle East and North Africa due to conflict and fragility (World Bank 2020). Roughly 60% of the world’s extreme poor in 2019 lived in Sub-Saharan Africa alone, while 81% of the global poor at the poverty line of $3.6.

The PIP itself is a page worth exploring. It doesn’t look like much but if you start clicking you’ll find there is much to discover. Try the calculator on the bottom right of the graph or trying clicking a country.

How has electricity generation changed?

First some good news. The eia report Renewable generation surpassed coal and nuclear in the U.S. electric power sector in 2022 by Katherine Antonio (3/27/2023) notes

Last year, the U.S. electric power sector produced 4,090 million megawatthours (MWh) of electric power. In 2022, generation from renewable sources—wind, solar, hydro, biomass, and geothermal—surpassed coal-fired generation in the electric power sector for the first time. Renewable generation surpassed nuclear generation for the first time in 2021 and continued to provide more electricity than nuclear generation last year.

On the other hand, in 2021 solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal made up 18.5% of electricity generation and that moved to only 20.25% in 2022.  You can get his data from the electricity data browser from the eia. It is a great tool that provides graphs and downloads of the selected data.

What’s up with maternal mortality?

There has been some talk in the news about increasing maternal mortality in the U.S. This is due to the new CDC report Maternal Mortality Rates  in the United States, 2021 by Donna L. Hoyert (3/16/2023). The graph here is one from the report. Clearly the upward trend started before COVID and there is a racial difference. We should note that another graph shows upward trends by age group too.

Rates in 2021 were 20.4 deaths per 100,000 live births for women under age 25, 31.3 for those aged 25–39, and 138.5 for those aged 40 and over (Figure 2 and Table). The rate for women aged 40 and over was 6.8 times higher than the rate for women under age 25. Differences in the rates between age groups were statistically significant. The increases in the rates between 2020 and 2021 for each of these age groups were statistically significant.

The article includes a table of data and the number of births women 40+ have increased, which might explain some,  but not all, of the increase. Either way, the data is waiting for analysis is a statistics class.

As to the racial differences. In 2019 Kevin Drum reported on this in his post How Can We Reduce Black Maternal Mortality? He makes a case that the differences aren’t explained by racism; it is longish and worth reading.  A few quotes:

The differences in allostatic load are tiny—about the equivalent of one IQ point on an intelligence test—and Hispanics have a higher allostatic load than either blacks or whites but the lowest maternal mortality rate.

Poor blacks report less stress and higher levels of optimism than both poor whites and poor Hispanics. Put all this together and the toxic stress/weathering hypotheses look shaky.

What it seems to tell us is that there’s a difference in when black mothers die. Any pregnancy-related death within a year of delivery is counted as maternal mortality, and the difference in IHM rates suggests that in white hospitals black mothers die at high rates in the hospital, while in black hospitals they die at high rates after going home.