Data worth a thousand words

The jury is in. Climate change is real. Water crises, both global and local, are too.

Data, with graphs of interrelationships and implications over time, spurs us to shred assumptions, gain perspective, and forge a sound course of action. The studies below look back to discover trends, or ahead to project likelihood and impact. They ask, and answer:

  • Global temperatures? Rising. [1]
  • Hottest global year on record? 2015, with 2014 2nd hottest. [2]
  • Local temperatures? Local rainfall? Rising. Dropping. [3, 4]
  • Top global risk to economies, environment, people? Water crisis. [5, 6]
  • 21st C. extended drought conditions in U.S. Southwest & Central Plains? Worst in 1,000 years. [7, 8]

My take on all this doom and gloom? Do what I can to adapt to rising temperatures and lack of freshwater, and take a bite out of demand with water-efficient practices.

  1. Earth’s Long Term Warming Trends, 1880-2014,” Video, Jan. 20 2016
  2. 2015 Hottest Year on Record,” National Centers for Environmental Information, Dec. 2015
  3. How Much Warmer Was Your City in 2015?,” by K.K. Rebecca Lai, New York Times with AccuWeather data on 3,116 cities, Feb. 19 2016
  4. In California, a Wet Era May be Ending,” by Henry Fountain, New York Times Science, Apr. 13 2015
  5. Water Crises Are a Top Global Risk,” by Carl Ganter, World Economic Forum, Jan. 16 2015
  6. Global Risks 2015,” World Economic Forum, 2015 Edition
  7. U.S. Droughts Will Be the Worst in 1,000 Years,” by Mark Fischetti, Scientific American, Feb. 12 2015
  8. Unprecedented 21st Century Drought Risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains,” by Benjamin I. Cook (NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies), Toby R. Ault (Columbia University), and Jason E. Smerdon (Cornell University), Science Advances, Feb. 12 2015

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