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NCDC Releases 2014 U.S. Climate Report

January 9, 2015 Comments off

NCDC Releases 2014 U.S. Climate Report
Source: NOAA

The 2014 annual average contiguous U.S. temperature was 52.6°F, 0.5°F above the 20th century average. This ranked as the 34th warmest year in the 1895–2014 record. Very warm conditions dominated the West, while the Midwest and Mississippi Valley were cool.

The average contiguous U.S. precipitation was 30.76 inches, 0.82 inch above average, and ranked as the 40th wettest year in the 120-year period of record. The northern United States was wet, and the Southern Plains were dry; the national drought footprint shrank about 2 percent.

In 2014, there were eight weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. These eight events resulted in the deaths of 53 people. The events include: the western U.S. drought, the Michigan and Northeast flooding event, five severe storm events, and one winter storm event.

Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters: Overview

January 9, 2015 Comments off

Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters: Overview
Source: NOAA

The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) is the Nation’s Scorekeeper in terms of addressing severe weather and climate events in their historical perspective. As part of its responsibility of monitoring and assessing the climate, NCDC tracks and evaluates climate events in the U.S. and globally that have great economic and societal impacts. NCDC is frequently called upon to provide summaries of global and U.S. temperature and precipitation trends, extremes, and comparisons in their historical perspective. Found here are the weather and climate events that have had the greatest economic impact from 1980 to 2014. The U.S. has sustained 178 weather and climate disasters since 1980 where overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion (including CPI adjustment to 2014). The total cost of these 178 events exceeds $1 trillion.

Competition Among U.S. Broadband Service Providers

January 5, 2015 Comments off

Competition Among U.S. Broadband Service Providers (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce

More than one quarter of American homes have not adopted Internet service , many citing cost as their primary reason. Since market competition can significant ly affect consumer prices, we set out to ask: how many Internet service providers (ISPs) are available to consumers at different levels of download speeds?

Looking at Internet service options available to households in December 2013, using data from the Census Bureau and National Telecommunications and Information Administration, we find that more service providers offer lower – speed than higher – speed service. At download speeds of 3 megabits per second (Mbps), which is the Federal Communications Commission’s current approximate standard for basic broadband service , 98 percent of the population had a choice of at least two mobile ISPs and 88 percent had two or more fixed ISPs available to them.

However, as multiple household members increasingly consume video streaming services music streaming, and online games, the adequate broadband speed bar has been raised. To understand just how slow 3 Mbps is , it takes about 2.25 hours to download a 6 gigabyte movie. The same movie would only take 16 minutes to download at 25 Mbps.

Census Bureau Projects U.S. and World Populations on New Year’s Day

December 29, 2014 Comments off

Census Bureau Projects U.S. and World Populations on New Year’s Day
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

As our nation prepares to ring in the new year, the U.S. Census Bureau today projected the United States population will be 320,090,857 on Jan. 1, 2015. This represents an increase of 2,334,187, or 0.73 percent, from New Year’s Day 2014, and 11,345,319, or 3.67 percent, since Census Day (April 1) 2010.

In January 2015, the U.S. is expected to experience a birth every eight seconds and one death every 12 seconds. Meanwhile, net international migration is expected to add one person to the U.S. population every 33 seconds. The combination of births, deaths and net international migration increases the U.S. population by one person every 16 seconds.

The projected world population on Jan. 1, is 7,214,958,996, an increase of 77,381,246, or 1.08 percent, from New Year’s Day 2014. During January 2015, 4.3 births and 1.8 deaths are expected worldwide every second.

2013 Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll

December 29, 2014 Comments off

2013 Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Provides a comprehensive look at the employment of the nation’s state and local governments, as well as the federal government. It shows the number of government civilian employees and their gross payroll by governmental function. These governmental functions include, for example, elementary and secondary education, and police protection.

Snows of Christmas past

December 24, 2014 Comments off

Snows of Christmas past
Source: NOAA

Like many people do at this time of year, the Climate.gov communications team has spent some time reminiscing about the holidays of our childhoods. Many of us wondered whether we could trust our memories of how snowy the holidays were when we were kids compared to now.

So, just for fun, we asked the experts at the Rutgers Snow Lab to show us what their data (based on NOAA satellite images) had to say about whether the U.S. snow extent during the week of Christmas has changed at all in the past 50 years. Fortunately, the team was in the holiday spirit, and they made some time to run a little analysis for us.

The map at right shows the change in the average number of snow-covered days between the 1990-2013 decades and the 1966-1989 decades for the week of Christmas —in other words, the most recent two decades of the time series minus the first two. Places where the ground was snow-covered up to 25% more frequently in recent decades are colored in shades of blue, and places that were snow-covered up to 25% less frequently are colored shades of brown.

Florida Passes New York to Become the Nation’s Third Most Populous State, Census Bureau Reports

December 23, 2014 Comments off

Florida Passes New York to Become the Nation’s Third Most Populous State, Census Bureau Reports
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

By adding an average of 803 new residents each day between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014, Florida passed New York to become the nation’s third most populous state, according to U.S. Census Bureau state population estimates released today. Florida’s population grew by 293,000 over this period, reaching 19.9 million. The population of New York increased by 51,000 to 19.7 million.

California remained the nation’s most populous state in 2014, with 38.8 million residents, followed by Texas, at 27.0 million. Although the list of the 10 most populous states overall was unchanged, two other states did change positions, as North Carolina moved past Michigan to take the ninth spot.

Another milestone took place in Georgia (ranked 8th), which saw its population surpass 10 million for the first time.

North Dakota was the nation’s fastest-growing state over the last year. Its population increased 2.2 percent, followed by the 1.7 percent growth in Nevada and Texas. Each of the 10 fastest-growing states was in the South or West with the exception of North Dakota.

Six states lost population between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014: Illinois (9,972 or -0.08 percent), West Virginia (3,269 or -0.18 percent), Connecticut (2,664 or -0.07 percent), New Mexico (1,323 or -0.06 percent, Alaska (527 or -0.07 percent) and Vermont (293 or -0.05 percent).

The United States as a whole saw its population increase by 2.4 million to 318.9 million, or 0.75 percent.

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