Map 219 makes me nervous. Global warming has claimed another victim. No, it wasn’t a human, but an ice shelf. A large portion of the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica broke off. The resulting iceberg, one of the largest ever recorded, is roughly 120 miles long, almost 1000 feet thick, and weighs over a trillion metric tons. That’s bad news and it makes mee nervous because it is more potential evidence for human-caused global warming. Check it out.
When I say “potential” evidence of human-caused global warming, I do so because the article in the New York Times where I found this excellent map states, “some climate scientists believe the warming in the region was at least in part a consequence of human-caused climate change, while others have disputed that, seeing a large role for natural variability”. Apparently “icebergs have been breaking away from ice shelves for many millions of years” which causes some scientists pause in blaming humans. The two groups do “agree that the breakup of ice shelves in the peninsula region may be a preview of what is in store for the main part of Antarctica as the world continues heating up as a result of human activity.”
If the ice shelves continue to fall apart in Antarctica it will be disastrous for people living along the world’s coasts. As the author states, “Larsen C, like two smaller ice shelves that collapsed before it, was holding back relatively little land ice, and it is not expected to contribute much to the rise of the sea. But in other parts of Antarctica, similar shelves are holding back enormous amounts of ice, and scientists fear that their future collapse could dump enough ice into the ocean to raise the sea level by many feet” (MANY FEET!). “How fast this could happen is unclear.” I’m not a ice expert, climatologist, or even a structural engineer but from what I read it’s possible for certain portions of the ice shelf’s border with the Antarctic Ocean to be supporting more of the shelf’s interior ice. If these particular points break off it becomes much easier for the greater shelf to break apart completely. The map below, also from the New York Times article, shows how much support each part of the ice shelf provides the rest of the natural structure.
So in conclusion, a big iceberg broke free from Antarctica and it may or may not be evidence of global warming. It’s not going to raise sea levels but future ice shelf breaks could and then coastal areas would be flooded. Additionally, President Trump (shudder) and his bastardized Environmental Protection Agency are actively attempting to ruin the planet. We’re screwed.
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Map 220 concerns home values. Real estate pricing has changed a lot in just the last seven years and the maps below show those changes by county/area and adjusting for inflation. Counties/markets in red saw home prices rise by 40% or more in that span. The highest micro-area in the country, Kapaa, Hawaii, had prices rise by 177% in seven years! Areas in yellow experienced price increases of 20 to 39%. The light beige areas had one to 19% increase or no change at all while the blue zones saw decreases of one to 46%.
Can’t see well enough? Don’t fret! There are close-ups below and the source map is fully interactive!
You may notice there are large swaths of land with similar colors. Much of the Western portion of the United States is colored in red and yellow, as is much of the Northeast. These areas are flush with job opportunities and economic growth. These things lure in additional people which causes high demand for land and other resources and, in turn, prices rise. California and New York are well known to be expensive and it fits logically that the real estate prices would have risen there over the past seven years.
Most of the Midwest and the Southeast (minus Florida) are blue, indicating deflating real estate prices. Many were hit especially hard during the 2007/2008 housing crisis that paired with the largest economic downturn since the Great Depression, something much of the country has still not recovered from fully. Some of the people that were hardest hit were homebuyers in that time period. Imagine (and if you lived through this you don’t have to imagine) buying your first home in Cleveland, Ohio in late 2006. The economy tanks and you don’t have enough equity in your new purchase to stay afloat. Many people, not just new homeowners, went underwater on their mortgages and lost everything. It’s not nice to think about all the people that suffered but it is positive that roughly half of the country has seen improvement overall since 2000. Hopefully this isn’t a sign of another bubble preparing to burst.
- Kapaa, HI +176.9%
- Williston, ND +154.9%
- Ukiah, CA +125.6%
- Pahrump, NV +121.0%
- Key West, FL +104.3%
- Watertown/Fort Drum, NY +99.2%
- Danville, VA +95.5%
- Steamboat Springs, CO +80.7%
- Astoria, OR +76.0%
- Washington/Arlington/Alexandria +61.8%
- Boston, MA +46.4%
- Austin, TX +42.6%
- Minneapolis/St. Paul/Bloomington +18.9%
- Albuquerque, NM +2.1%
- Chicago, IL +1.1%
- Columbia, MO -13.4%
- Macon, GA -21.5%
- Montgomery, AL -22.4%
- Rockford, IL -23.6%
- Detroit, MI -25.7%
- Saginaw, MI -45.9%
How has your area faired? Does your county match the outcome of the rest of your state? Let me know in the comments below, especially if you went through financial struggles in 2007/2008 or have bought or sold a home recently.
Bonus Map Link: Where Chicago Hides Its Snow
Bonus Bonus Map Link: Dig a Hole Straight Through the Earth
Bonus Bonus Bonus Map Link: Mapping Dante’s Inferno