Significant Figures by Peter Gleick

Archives for April, 2013

The numbers are in for 2012, and they are shocking. The Beverage Marketing Corporation, which tracks sales and consumption of beverages, is reporting that sales of bottled water grew nearly 7 percent between 2011 and 2012, with consumption reaching a staggering 30.8 gallons per person. And since I (and some of you) consume almost zero…

We live on solid ground, but the truth is, our planet is mostly covered in water. The famous writer Arthur C. Clarke noted this when he said, “How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.” Today is Earth Day, when we celebrate the planet, and in particular the functioning ecosystem…

On April 2nd, I posted three iconic graphs showing some of the clear observational evidence that we’re changing the climate. That post produced a substantial, and largely thoughtful response, and a request for more information and data along these lines. Here are three more, along with a bonus fourth, all with a theme of exponential…

Here are three iconic graphs (unfortunately, there are many, many more) showing just some of the clear observational evidence that we’re changing the climate. The first is the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, measured at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii. It shows the little ups and downs in concentration that varies with the seasons,…