How much natural gas does the industrial sector use?

The eia post Natural gas consumption in the industrial sector has grown slowly in recent years by Mike Kopalek (12/12/2022) provides the graph copied here. What may be more interesting is what all this natural gas is used for. A few highlights:

Natural gas used to produce fertilizer is one of the largest chemical feedstocks.

Methanol (CH3OH), a natural gas-derived substance that’s widely used as a precursor for chemical derivatives, is another one of the largest chemical feedstock uses for natural gas. In recent years, the United States added significant methanol production capacity, particularly in Texas and Louisiana.

Crude oil refineries are an important natural gas consumer as well, accounting for about 14% of all industrial natural gas consumption in 2021.

Read the article for the details. There are links to the data source.

Should you bet on a white Christmas?

The answer to the question depends on where you live, which will dictate the odds of snow on the ground on Dec 25.  If you aren’t sure then take a look at the map on the NOAA’s article Interactive map: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? by Rebecca Lindsey and Susan Osborne (12/6/2022).

The interactive map on the page allows you to zoom in on a dot and get information about the chance of at least an inch of snow on the ground on Dec 25.  Here in Ithaca we have a 51% chance of at least an inch of snow on the ground. The page includes links to other maps and at the bottom there are links to other snow related resources. There is a link to download a spreadsheet of the data which includes the state and location name, along with elevation and the chance of snow. Is there relationship between elevation and snow on Dec 25? This seems like a stats project in the making.



What are the IPCC sea level projections?

In a follow up to the last post, How much has sea level risen locally? (12/1/2022), we have the IPCC Sea Level Projection Tool. The NOAA sea level trends tool looks at the historic data and adds linear regression lines. The IPCC tool has projections based on the different IPCC scenarios. For example, when you first land on the page you will see blue dots on a map. A dot with a number means there are a cluster of dots nearby so zoom in.  I went to the Miami beach dot. Click on the dot and then click full projections. This will bring you to a page with two interactive maps. The first is a curve of seal level change (relative to the 1995-2014 baseline) projected out to 2150. You can select one of the six IPCC scenarios.

The other graph, seen here, allows you to select an increase in sea level and provides estimates for when that will occur, with the black circle being the median year.  The graph here is the data at which we see about one foot of sea level rise in Miami. In both graphs there is a link to download the data.

A related article from NASA, NASA Study: Rising Sea Level Could Exceed Estimates for U.S. Coasts by Sally Younger (11/15/2022) provides some interesting context such as:

The hazards of rising sea level are amplified by natural variabilities on Earth.

For instance, by the mid-2030s, every U.S. coast will experience more intense high-tide floods due to a wobble in the Moon’s orbit that occurs every 18.6 years. Hamlington said that this lunar cycle, in combination with rising sea level, is projected to worsen the impacts of high-tide flooding during the 2030s and 2040s.


How much has sea level risen locally?

If you’d like local trends of sea level rise then check out NOAA’s Sea Level Trends page.

The sea level trends measured by tide gauges that are presented here are local relative sea level (RSL) trends as opposed to the global sea level trend. Tide gauge measurements are made with respect to a local fixed reference on land. RSL is a combination of the sea level rise and the local vertical land motion.

On the landing page you are greeted with a map with colored arrows. The arrows point up for an increase and down for a decrease in sea level locally. The color of the arrow is represents magnitude. Click on an arrow to get details. For instance for Ocean City, MD we learn

The relative sea level trend is 6.05 mm/year with a 95% confidence interval of +/- 0.73 mm/year based on monthly mean sea level data from 1975 to 2021 which is equivalent to a change of 1.98 feet in 100 years.

Note that the 100 year projection assume a linear increase, which may not be the case. The pop up box includes links to four times of graphs. The one presented here is the linear trend graph. Under the graph for average seasonal cycle we learn

The average seasonal cycle of mean sea level, caused by regular fluctuations in coastal temperatures, salinities, winds, atmospheric pressures, and ocean currents, is shown along with each month’s 95% confidence interval.

The graphs include links to the data. Great QL resource and a place to get ample time series data.

How much have food prices increased?

The World Bank Data Blog provides information on food prices in the article Food prices eased but risks remain elevated by John Baffes & Kaltrina Temaj (11/21/2022)

The World Bank’s Food Price Index declined 12% in the third quarter of 2022 (q/q) after reaching an all-time high in April. The index remains almost 20% higher than a year ago.  In domestic currency terms, however, food prices remain elevated due to currency deprecations. Food prices are expected to fall 5% in 2023 before stabilizing in 2024. Despite the expected declines, most food prices will remain high by historical norms. The forecasts are also subjected to numerous risks.

The article has total of 7 graphs, most of them are interactive, and interesting information:

Supply disruptions, increasing production costs, and appreciation of the U.S. dollar have exerted upward pressure on domestic food price inflation in most countries.  Food price inflation in South Asia averaged 20% in the first three quarters of 2022 (y/y); the average for most other regions was 14%. The exception was the East Asia and the Pacific region where food price inflation averaged just 6%, in part due to stable rice prices, a key staple in the region.

There are links to the data but it may take some work to get it. This is a rich QL article. For example, a good assignment is use the graph to verify the percentages in the first quote above.



How hot was October 2022?

From NOAA’s October 2022 Global Climate Report:

October 2022 was the fourth-warmest October in NOAA’s 143-year record. The October global surface temperature was 1.60°F (0.89°C) above the 20th-century average of 57.1°F (14.0°C). The past seven Octobers were among the ten warmest Octobers on record.

A few highlights:

Europe had its warmest October on record at 2.6°C (4.6°F) above the 1910-2000 average. This surpassed the previous record, set in 2020, by 0.38°C (0.68°F). More than seven countries in Europe recorded their warmest or joint-warmest October on record.

Austria had its warmest October on record. Austria’s national weather service reported that the average temperature was 2.8°C above the 1991-2020 baseline in the lowlands, and 4.0°C warmer in the mountains.

According to MeteoSwiss, Switzerland had its warmest October since the country began its records in 1865, with an average temperature 3.7°C above the 1991-2020 average.

Belgium tied 2001 for its warmest October on record, 3.1°C warmer than the 1991-2020 average, according to Belgium’s Royal Meteorological Institute.

MeteoFrance reported that France had its warmest October since records began in 1945, about 3.5°C above the 1991-2020 normal.

The time series data is available near the top of the page under Additional Resources.

What’s new with the CO2 Data Explorer?

From Our World in Data’s post Data Update: We’ve just updated all of our global CO2 emissions data by Pablo Rosado, Hannah Ritchie, and Edouard Mathieu (11/11/2022):

There is one major update in this year’s carbon budget.

National emissions data was only available for CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industrial processes (such as cement production). It did not include emissions from land use change.

This year’s update – for the first time – now includes land use estimates for countries, extending back to 1750.

The CO2 Data Explorer is a great tool.  Users can select countries, different emission types (cement is interesting), total or per capita, etc. The data can also be downloaded. Go explore.

Where is the coal and the coal jobs?

An interesting post by the eia and the title answers the question: Most U.S. coal is mined in the West, but most coal mining jobs are in the East by Elesia Fasching (11/8/2022).

In 2021, 60% of the country’s coal was produced in the western United States, but only 28% of workers in the coal mining industry worked there, based on data from our Annual Coal Report. This difference is related to the technologies used in the East and West; surface mines in the West can use massive mining equipment to extract large amounts of coal with relatively fewer workers.

Another interesting fact:

In the United States, coal is primarily used for electricity generation. The Clean Air Act of 1970, and subsequent amendments in 1977 and 1990, restricted sulfur emissions from coal-fired power plants. One way for plants to meet the emissions regulations was to burn low-sulfur coal, most of which is found in the West. The resulting growth in demand for low-sulfur coal expanded western coal production, especially in the Powder River Basin.

There is another graph and links to data in the article.

Which glaciers may be gone by 2050?

The UNESCO press release, UNESCO finds that some iconic World Heritage glaciers will disappear by 2050 by François Wibaux (11/3/2022) provides a list of glaciers likely to be gone by 2050. For example,

According to available data, glaciers in all World Heritage sites in Africa will very likely be gone by 2050, incl. Kilimanjaro National Park and Mount Kenya

Glaciers in Yellowstone National Park (United States of America) – very likely to disappear by 2050

Glaciers in Yosemite National Park (United States of America) – very likely to disappear by 2050

The graph here is from the full report (link in the press release) which also contains some useful tables of data. A quote  speaking calculus in the press release:

But a new study by UNESCO, in partnership with IUCN, shows these glaciers have been retreating at an accelerated rate since 2000 due to CO2 emissions, which are warming temperatures. They are currently losing 58 billion tons of ice every year – equivalent to the combined annual water use of France and Spain– and are responsible for nearly 5% of observed global sea-level rise.

Why does this all matter:

Half of humanity depends directly or indirectly on glaciers as their water source for domestic use, agriculture, and power. Glaciers are also pillars of biodiversity, feeding many ecosystems.

Who views violent crime as voting issue?

In the past I’ve posted about pew surveys presenting very split opinions by the D and the R teams. Today we have an interesting one within the D team in the Pew article Violent crime is a key midterm voting issue, but what does the data say? by John  Gramlich (10/31/2022). Key quote:

Differences by race are especially pronounced among Democratic registered voters. While 82% of Black Democratic voters say violent crime is very important to their vote this year, only a third of White Democratic voters say the same.

There are a couple of graphs in the article and plenty of quantitative information. What is particularly nice is the discussion about views on violent crime and some disconnects. The article does a great job of discussion possible reasons for this disconnect.