Archive for Category: "Resources"

EIA’s portal compares energy sector in 50 states

EIA’s portal compares energy sector in 50 states

If you’ve ever been curious about energy facts in your state—such as which sector consumes the most energy, or how your state’s electricity prices compare to the rest of the country—the State Portal hosted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is a convenient, user-friendly resource. EIA’s portal compares energy in the 50 states from […]

How energy is produced in the American West, the nation’s “energy breadbasket”

How energy is produced in the American West, the nation’s “energy breadbasket”

The Western Governors’ Association (WGA) calls the West the nation’s “energy breadbasket,” owing to the region’s vast and diverse energy resources. In its most recent report, “The State of Energy in the West,” the WGA provides a comprehensive survey of conventional and renewable energy as part of its year-long focus on energy. In a previous […]

Snow jobs: America’s $12 billion winter sports economy and climate change

Snow jobs: America’s $12 billion winter sports economy and climate change

Full disclosure: I love to ski and snowboard, so before reading further, you should know that I’m more of a passionate participant than neutral analyst of America’s snow sports industry. But whether you’re a ski bum, X Games aspirant, or disinterested flatlander, it’s undeniable that a ton of money is changing hands when it comes […]

Americans are driving less: the state-by-state story

Americans are driving less: the state-by-state story

At the peak of the recession, did you swap your family’s annual summer road trip for a “staycation” or plan errands to reduce your number of car trips? Have you engaged in the semi-competitive practice of hypermiling? If so, you’re far from alone in your quest to reduce your annual mileage behind the wheel, according […]

State energy dashboard compares use, prices, and spending

State energy dashboard compares use, prices, and spending

The 50 states pursue different paths to supply energy to their residents, with some heavily reliant on coal, others dependent on hydropower dams, and many tapping a broad portfolio of sources. I described this diversity of approaches in previous posts on energy flow diagrams and a map of the “United States of Energy.” In this […]

The United States of Energy

The United States of Energy

Maps of our nation’s energy potential usually display just one source, such as the location of wind farms or the extent of natural gas fields. In an interesting new data visualization, advertising and PR firm Saxum has combined both fossil and renewable energy resources into a map of The United States of Energy. Below are […]

Flow diagrams of U.S. and Western carbon emissions

Flow diagrams of U.S. and Western carbon emissions

The United States emits around 5.6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) each year. That’s roughly the annual CO2 exhaust of 1.2 billion cars, according to the U.S. EPA’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) equivalency calculator, and it’s nearly 20 percent of annual global GHG emissions. U.S. and Western carbon flow diagrams from EcoWest on […]

Timber harvest falls in national forests

Timber harvest falls in national forests

Logging on national forests, many of them located in the West, is a shadow of its former self. One of the clearest trends we found in our research was the decline in the timber harvest reported by the U.S. Forest Service, as shown in the graphic below (click to enlarge) and on our forestry dashboard. […]

Go with the flow: Sankey diagrams illustrate energy economy

Go with the flow: Sankey diagrams illustrate energy economy

Energy flows through everything, so it’s only fitting to use flow charts to depict our complex energy economy. Since the early 1970s, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has been producing such graphics, not only for energy, but also for water and carbon dioxide. Technically known as Sankey diagrams, these data visualizations summarize flows through a […]

Interactive population maps from Census Bureau

Interactive population maps from Census Bureau

It’s hardly news that the West’s population is booming, but which counties in region are growing fastest? How has the demographic profile of Western states been changing? The U.S. Census Bureau offers up some great interactive maps that depict population changes between 2000 and 2010. These maps, which you can embed in websites and blogs, […]

Wind and ocean currents visualized

Wind and ocean currents visualized

You may not need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, but the data that climate researchers collect can certainly deliver some beautiful visualizations of the currents constantly swirling in the skies and oceans. Witness the Perpetual Ocean, a project of NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio. This video, shown below, depicts the flow of […]

Satellite animation of Las Vegas sprawl

Satellite animation of Las Vegas sprawl

Until the housing bust, Las Vegas was one of America’s fastest growing cities and NASA’s Landsat satellites have been recording the area’s growth for decades. This video shows the city’s expansion from 1972 to 2010. The dark red areas are open space, mostly golf courses and parks.