Tag Archives: data source

How much has Lake Mead Dropped?

Lake Mead water levels continue to drop. At the end of May it was down to 1047.69 feet, which is a 13.8 foot drop since my post on April 25 with the end of March height. The west continues in drought according to the Drought Monitor.

What about electricity generation? From the Boulder City Review:

Hoover (Dam) would no longer be able to produce power at 950 feet of elevation,” she said. “We do not anticipate that happening.”

The graph here is from the data on the Lake Mead at Hoover Dam, End of Month Elevation (feet) page by the Bureau of Reclamation. The Sept Lake Mead post and the July Lake Mead post, which has a link to the R code for the graph.

How has maternal mortality rates changed?

The chart here is from the National Center for Health Statistics paper Maternal Mortality Rates in the United States, 2020 by Donna L. Hoyert (2/23/2022). A definition:

A maternal death is defined by the World Health Organization as, “the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and the site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management, but not from accidental or incidental causes” (1). Maternal mortality rates, which are the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, are shown in this report by age group and race and Hispanic origin.

Kevin Drum comments on this in his post The maternal mortality rate has skyrocketed over the past three years. A few quotes:

And the maternal mortality rate for everyone has nearly tripled since the late ’90s. Meanwhile, in Europe, the maternal mortality rate has been steadily dropping and is now about one-third the US rate.

What explains the differences by race according to Drum:

And we’re still in the dark about why Black women suffer such an astonishingly high rate of maternal mortality. As I said three years ago:

Poverty, education level, drinking, smoking, and genetic causes don’t seem to explain the black-white difference in maternal mortality. The timing of prenatal care doesn’t explain it. Medically, the cause of the difference appears to be related to the circulatory system, which is sensitive to stress. This makes the toxic stress hypothesis intuitively appealing, but it has little rigorous evidence supporting it. There’s some modest evidence that wider use of doulas could reduce both infant and maternal mortality, but no evidence that it would reduce the black-white gap.

Low income is weakly associated with higher maternal mortality rates, but it explains very little. The allostatic stress theory is appealing but probably wrong. And racism doesn’t seem to play much of a role either.

The CDC article has links to data.

How hot was May 2022?

From NOAA’s May 200 Global Climate Report:

The May global surface temperature was 1.39°F (0.77°C) above the 20th-century average of 58.6°F (14.8°C). This ranks as the ninth-warmest May in the 143-year record, 0.30°F (0.17°C) cooler than the warmest May months (2016 and 2020). It was the coolest May since 2013, but it still marked the 46th consecutive May and the 449th consecutive month with temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th-century average. The ten warmest May months have all occurred from 2010 to present.

Some highlights for May 2022:

There are several top-10 ranks to note for May 2022. In particular, it was the eighth-warmest May for the global ocean, the eighth-warmest for the Northern Hemisphere as a whole, the eighth-warmest for Europe (associated with a heatwave in southwestern Europe), and the sixth-warmest for Asia (associated with above-average temperatures in western Siberia).

Time series data is available at a link near the top of the page.



What are Earth Minute Videos?

NASA has a number of whiteboard animations called Earth Minute Videos:

NASA isn’t all about interplanetary exploration; in fact, the agency spends much of its time studying our home planet. This fun whiteboard animation series explains Earth science to the science-curious.

The videos themselves don’t have much math but each video has a link underneath to more info. For example, the Greenland video here includes a link to Ice Sheets info which has data.

How much do we trust our government?

Pew has a feature, Public Trust in Government: 1958-2022 (6/6/2022), with three interactive graphs answering this question. In general,

When the National Election Study began asking about trust in government in 1958, about three-quarters of Americans trusted the federal government to do the right thing almost always or most of the time. Trust in government began eroding during the 1960s, amid the escalation of the Vietnam War, and the decline continued in the 1970s with the Watergate scandal and worsening economic struggles. Confidence in government recovered in the mid-1980s before falling again in the mid-1990s. But as the economy grew in the late 1990s, so too did confidence in government. Public trust reached a three-decade high shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but declined quickly thereafter. Since 2007, the shares saying they can trust the government always or most of the time has not surpassed 30%.

The one graph copied here also makes it obvious how opinions by political leaning shift on cue when a president of the other party is elected. Each graph in the article has a link to the data.

Which regions use the most AC?

From the eia article Nearly 90% of U.S. household used air conditioning in 2020 by Ross Beall and Bill McNary (5/31/2022):

In 2020, the Midwest Census Region and South Census Region had the highest percentages of households using AC, at 92% and 93%, respectively. The lowest percentage of households using AC was 73% in the West Census Region; this census region includes households in several climate areas, such as the marine climate region along the Pacific Coast, where residential AC use was 49%.

The article cites the Residential Energy Consumption Survey, which is a nice data source.

Have we passed peak agricultural land?

The chart here is from the Our World in Data article After millennia of agricultural expansion, the world has passed ‘peak agricultural land’ by Hannah Ritchie (5/30/2022).  Interestingly

Despite this reduction in agricultural land, the world has continued to produce more food. This is true of both crops and livestock.

We see this decoupling in the chart that presents the UN FAO’s data. It shows that global agricultural land – the green line – has peaked while agricultural production – the brown line – has continued to increase strongly, even after this peak.

When we break each agricultural component out individually, or look at it in physical rather than monetary units, we find the same trend: a continued increase in output. You can explore this data for any crop or animal product in our Global Food Explorer.

We should note:

The third, as I mentioned earlier, is that global croplands are still expanding. We see this in the chart. Other sources suggest that this rate of increase might be even faster. The World Resources Institute looks at this research in more detail here.

The article has three graphs and the data for each can be downloaded.


Is there a relationship between homicide and race?

One more post from the Manhattan Institute’s* Breaking Down the 2020 Homicide Spike by Christos A. Makridis and Robert VerBruggen (5/18/2022). We first note:

Homicides went up throughout the country, and for every major demographic group, in 2020, but they did not rise for everyone equally, as is clear when we break down the numbers by race, age, sex, urbanicity, and region of the country.

Related to figure 3 (copied here) we have this, which is excellent  QL material:

The racial and ethnic breakdown is perhaps most striking in this regard. Proportionally, homicide rates rose by about 34% for black Americans and about 19% percent for non-Hispanic whites: a notable, but not extreme, gap (Figure 3). But since the black homicide rate was already many times higher than the white one, this translated into 8 additional black deaths for every 100,000 population—an increase similar to the total homicide rate for the country as a whole—while the death rate for whites rose by only 0.5 per 100,000. (Recall that these numbers pertain to the homicide victims, not the killers, though American homicide is overwhelmingly intraracial.)

There is a lot to discuss in this article as well as ample quantitative literacy material. There is a discussion of methods and the CDC data they use is easy enough to locate.

* (This is the same note from Monday’s Post) Yes, MI has a clear political leaning but that doesn’t make their work incorrect. Their data and methods are sound here and this should be engaged not ignored. If someone thinks something is incorrect then let me know.



Is there a correlation between Homicide rate and voting?

The Manhattan Institute* has a lengthy report on the increasing homicide rate, Breaking Down the 2020 Homicide Spike by Christos A. Makridis and Robert VerBruggen (5/18/2022), with numerous interesting charts. From the report (figure 7 copied here):

Next, we explore the correlation between two geographic factors—population and GOP vote share—and the growth rate in the homicide rate per capita between 2019 and 2020. Each observation is a county whose size is determined by its population, giving larger counties greater weight. Counties with a higher share of GOP voters not only have lower homicide rates but also a lower growth in homicide rates between 2019 and 2020 (Figures 6 and 7).

There is a positive correlation between population in a county and the growth in the homicide rate, but the correlation between population and just the homicide rate is slightly negative (Figure 8). In this sense, even though there are slightly higher rates of homicide deaths per capita in smaller counties, some of those differences could be driven by spurious factors that are correlated with population.

There is a lot to discuss in this article as well as ample quantitative literacy material. There is a discussion of methods and the CDC data they use is easy enough to locate.

* Yes, MI has a clear political leaning but that doesn’t make their work incorrect. Their data and methods are sound here and this should be engaged not ignored. If someone thinks something is incorrect then let me know.


How hot was April 2022?

From NOAA’s April 2022 Global Climate Report:

The April 2022 global surface temperature was 0.85°C (1.53°F) above the 20th century average and tied with 2010 as the fifth highest for April in the 143-year record. The 10 warmest April months have occurred since 2010, with the years 2014–2022 all ranking among the 10 warmest Aprils on record. This marked the 46th consecutive April and the 448th consecutive month with temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th century average.

Time series data available at a link at the top of the page.