Wednesday, April 11, 2012

More climate data from NOAA

Update, April 19: Here's a link to the Early Bloomers Op-Ed in today's NY Times about the how much earlier the plants that Thoreau noted bloom now, and how rare some of them have become.
Image: NY Times
  
After yesterday's post, I took a closer look at NOAA's Climate Services page. It's very useful, with links to reports, data, a news feed, a lookup for historical weather data by zip code, and other material. My favorite: two interactive data dashboards (one for climate change, the other for climate variability). Here's a partial screenshot:

The top graph is change in average surface temperature across the earth compared to the average for 1901-2000. The second shows the area of the Northern Hemisphere covered by snow in March and April, shown as the difference from the 1971-2000 average. And the third shows the average mass, together, of 30 reference glaciers from around the world. How do I know this? The little question mark signals a popup that explains what each graph displays in one or two sentences, and then offers a "read more" link for more information.

I encourage my clients to develop and update data dashboards because they let you see, at a glance, the status of your programs. These are particularly glitzy ones, but then they draw on a large number of data points. It's worth going to NOAA's site and experimenting with them directly. And, as I've said before, also here, it's not as if more proof of global warming were needed. Climate change is here, and these depressing numbers show that it's time to take some action.

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