Tag Archives: data source

How hot was Aug 2020?

From the NOAA Global Climate Report – August 2020:

Averaged as a whole, the August 2020 global land and ocean surface temperature was 0.94°C (1.69°F) above average and the second highest August temperature since global records began in 1880. Only August 2016 was warmer with a temperature departure from average of +0.98°C (+1.76°F). The 10 warmest Augusts have all occurred since 1998; however, the five warmest Augusts have occurred since 2015. August 2020 also marked the 44th consecutive August and the 428th consecutive month with temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th-century average.

The global land-only surface temperature for August 2020 was the third highest on record at 1.26°C (2.27°F) above average. Meanwhile, the global-ocean surface temperature tied with 2016 as the second highest in the 141-year record at 0.82°C (1.48°F) above average.

For the summer months:

The Northern Hemisphere had its warmest summer on record at 1.17°C (2.11°F) above average, surpassing the now second-warmest such period set in 2016 and again in 2019. The five warmest summers for the Northern Hemisphere have occurred since 2015.

The time series data is available at the links  above the Introduction. See Temperature Anomalies Time Series.

What is the fossil fuel percent of our energy consumption?

The eia post Fossil fuels account for the largest share of U.S. energy production and consumption by Bill Sanchez (9/14/2020) summarizes our energy production and consumption since 1950. From the graph copied here we see that even though we have increased renewable energy capacity they still make up a small percent of our total energy consumption. Some good news:

The share of U.S. total energy consumption that originated from fossil fuels has fallen from its peak of 94% in 1966 to 80% in 2019. The total amount of fossil fuels consumed in the United States has also fallen from its peak of 86 quads in 2007.

There are three other graphs and links to data.

Where do we find CA wildfire data?

CAL FIRE provides information about current fires as well as historical data. The picture here is from their incidents page where users can choose current fires or select particular year. For active incidents the right side bar provides the status of current fires. The stats and events page has historical information such as the top 20 fires. There is also a page with historical acres burned by year, although currently updated to only 2018 which was a record year of just under 2,000,000 acres burned.

The climate.gov article Over a million acres burned in California in second half of August 2020 by Tom Di Liberto (8/26/2020) provides some context about CA wildfires and connection to climate change.


Do you know everything that contributes to sea level?

The NASA feature article on Vital Sings on the Planet, NASA-led Study Reveals the Causes of Sea Level Rise Since 19900 (8/21/2020) summarizes results from the paper in Nature, The causes of sea-level rise since 1900 (behind a paywall). What you might not have known:

In addition, the new study found that during the 1970s, when dam construction was at its peak, sea level rise slowed to a crawl. Dams create reservoirs that can impound freshwater that would normally flow straight into the sea.

For example, in its recent flooding report, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) noted a rapid increase in sea level rise-related flooding events along U.S. coasts over the last 20 years, and they are expected to grow in extent, frequency, and depth as sea levels continue to rise.

Sea level data can be found on NASA’s Sea Level page.



How many people are employed in manufacturing?

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.

What electric power record did we set in July?

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).

How hot was July 2020?

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.

How much utility-scale battery storage do we have?

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.

These systems have a wide variety of applications, including integrating renewables into the grid, peak shavingfrequency regulation, and providing backup power.

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.

How cold is Lake Superior at a depth of 135ft?

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.