Arctic sea ice has not only been shrinking in surface area in recent years, it’s becoming younger and thinner as well. In this animation, where the ice cover almost looks gelatinous as it pulses through the seasons, cryospheric scientist Dr. Walt Meier of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center describes how the sea ice has undergone fundamental changes during the era of satellite measurements.
Editor’s note: This visualization incorrectly identifies the oldest ice as being 5+ years old, when it would be more accurate to say 4+ years old. An updated version of this visualization can be downloaded in HD here: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4510[OR SEE BELOW…]
This visualization shows the age of the Arctic sea ice between 1984 and 2019. Younger sea ice, or first-year ice, is shown in a dark shade of blue while the ice that is four years old or older is shown as white. A graph displayed in the upper left corner quantifies the area covered sea ice 4 or more years old in millions of square kilometers.
One significant change in the Arctic region in recent years has been the rapid decline in perennial sea ice. Perennial sea ice, also known as multi-year ice, is the portion of the sea ice that survives the summer melt season. Perennial ice may have a life-span of nine years or more and represents the thickest component of the sea ice; perennial ice can grow up to four meters thick. By contrast, first year ice that grows during a single winter is generally at most two meters thick.
This animation shows the seasonal variability of the ice, growing in the Arctic winter and melting in the summer. In addition, this also shows the changes from year to year. A graph in the upper left corner the quantifies the change over time by showing the area covered by sea ice that is 4 years old or older in millions of square kilometers. This graph also includes a memory bar – the vertical green bar that indicates the maximum value seen thus far in the animation for the given week being displayed. For example, when viewing the sea ice age for the first week in September, the memory bar will display the maximum value seen for the first week of September in all prior years from the beginning of the animation (1984). In addition, a violet bar indicates the weeks’s average area covered by sea ice greater than 4 years of age during the the 20-year time period from 1984 through 2003.
Note that data for the sea ice age is not available along the coastlines. The region where data is not available is shown in a dark lavender color.
[Editor: I got this in an email from Susannah Delano of Close the Gap California. Too much BAD news these days – here’s one to get our hopes up. Fascinating charts – especially Key Takeaway #1. – R.S.]
Stepping Up and Standing Out: Women’s Political Participation in 2020
Read the memo here, the blog post here, and the press release here.
Women of all ages and political affiliations — particularly millennials and women of color—have become more politically engaged since 2016, a trend that is likely to continue in the 2020 cycle. Our new research gives further insights into what motivates women and how they plan to participate this year.
1. The 2016 election marked a new era of women’s involvement in political issues and campaigns and they show no sign of stopping in the 2020 cycle.
Only 16% of all surveyed women voters said they have become less politically involved in the last few years, with more than half (55%) saying their involvement has stayed the same, and almost one third (29%) reporting increased involvement.
The survey shows that Democratic women have been especially motivated to actively participate in the political process, with 35% saying that they have gotten more involved in politics in the last few years, compared to 27% of Republican women and 23% of women who consider themselves Independent.
Increased participation is notable among two key voting blocs: 41% of millennial women (18-34 years old) and 36% of women of color say that they have gotten more involved recently.
Looking ahead to the 2020 election, the trend of increased involvement is likely to continue, with 31% of women saying they will become more involved and only 9% saying they will be less engaged.
Among Democratic women, 39% say they will be more involved this year along with 40% of millennial woman and 40% of women of color.
2. Women are engaging in a range of activities, but are particularly focused on encouraging friends or family to vote or get involved in a campaign or issue.
42% of respondents said that they have encouraged friends or family members to vote or become involved in a campaign or issue—compared to just 35% of men.
Millennial women are leading the charge and taking to the streets— nearly one-fourth of them (23%) reported that they have attended a march, rally, or protest since 2016.
On every key political action, women of color report being more politically engaged than white women—they volunteer their time, donate to candidates, attend marches, sign petitions, and encourage their friends to get involved at higher rates.
3. Despite increased involvement in political issues, women voters identified time (i.e. being too busy working and/or taking care of family) as the biggest barrier to getting politically involved.
The survey asked voters to choose their top reason for not getting involved among a list of several potential barriers: 22% of women said they were too busy working or taking care of their families as the top reason they didn’t get involved compared to 12% of men who identified work or family obligations as their main barrier.
4. Confidence in their own political knowledge is also a barrier unique to women.
Despite comparable news consumption, women are 3 times more likely to choose “I don’t know enough about political issues to get involved” as their top reason for not getting involved in politics (15% of women vs. 5% of men).
5. Women, on either side of the political aisle, are primarily motivated by the aspirations they hold for the country.
We tested several reasons for why voters have gotten involved in politics in the past few years, and the top two are I want to make my country a better place and I want to make sure our country moves forward not backward.
6. Women are inspired by other women’s political involvement, especially when it comes to supporting women running for office.
Women are more likely to volunteer or donate to female candidates, especially Democratic and millennial women, as well as women of color.
The survey was conducted nationwide among 800 likely 2020 presidential voters (including 600 women and 200 men) during December 5-12, 2019.Full data report available here.
Well, I woke up early this morning, intending to get to work. Then I saw the national headlines.
No, not the impeachment trial in the Senate. Most of us continue to hope against hope there, while expecting the worst.
My attention was grabbed this morning by two historic and horrific attacks by the Trump administration. While we are watching the impeachment, the wannabe dictator and his buds are quietly changing the world. Sigh…. I can’t wait until November!
Today’s Xenophobia: US to Restrict Visas for Pregnant Women Entering the Country
In case you thought the Trump administration was only using the impeachment proceedings to barf all over the Constitution, think again. The target now: Trump’s old nemesis, Birthright citizenship. They don’t want the “wrong” people getting it.
On Thursday the Associated Press reports that the Trump administration is imposing new rules aimed at targetting “birth tourism,” the supposed practice of foreign nationals traveling to the US to have children who will be US Citizens due to birthright citizenship.
Birthright citizenship is the constitutional provision that stipulates anyone born in the US is a citizen. It is born of the 14th Amendment to the Bill of Rights, which was ratified after the civil war and is the basis for most civil rights constitutional cases. It reads in the relevant part: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”
Donald Trump, who does not understand the constitution, law or executive orders has long wanted to end this because it, of course, provides a way for people he doesn’t like – the children of immigrants – to become citizens and also then extend that citizenship to their parents. “Birth Tourism” may well be an issue, but the real point of these regulations is xenophobia and a desire to keep people out of America. [MORE…]
Trump creates new hurdles for pregnant women seeking U.S. tourist visas
The Trump administration says it is cracking down on what it calls “birth tourism” and will instruct consular officers to assess whether women requesting visas to visit the United States are hoping to give birth here to obtain U.S. citizenship for the child.
Starting Friday, the State Department will no longer issue temporary visitor visas to women hoping to travel to the United States for the purposes of having a child, White House officials said in a statement Thursday. The visas — known as B-1/B-2 visas — provide for temporary travel to the United States for tourism, business or medical care.
The State Department said Thursday that consular officers cannot require pregnancy tests to make the determination but would not rule out that a woman’s physical appearance could be taken into consideration. [MORE…]
This Will Be the Biggest Loss of Clean Water Protection the Country Has Ever Seen
Today, the Trump administration will finalize its replacement for the Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule in a move that will strip protections from more than half of the nation’s wetlands and allow landowners to dump pesticides into waterways, or build over wetlands, for the first time in decades.
President Donald Trump has been working to undo the 2015 rule since he took office, but his replacement goes even further, The New York Times explained. In addition to rolling back protections for some wetlands and streams that run intermittently or temporarily underground, it will also get rid of a requirement that landowners seek permits from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which had considered permits on a case-by-case basis before 2015.
“This will be the biggest loss of clean water protection the country has ever seen,” Southern Environmental Law Center lawyer Blan Holman told The New York Times. “This puts drinking water for millions of Americans at risk of contamination from unregulated pollution. This is not just undoing the Obama rule. This is stripping away protections that were put in place in the ’70s and ’80s that Americans have relied on for their health.” [MORE…]
Trump Administration Cuts Back Federal Protections For Streams And Wetlands
NPR, by Scott Neuman and Colini Dwyer, January 23, 2020
The Environmental Protection Agency is dramatically reducing the amount of U.S. waterways that get federal protection under the Clean Water Act — a move that is welcomed by many farmers, builders and mining companies but is opposed even by the agency’s own science advisers. [MORE…]