Visualizing climate change in Vancouver 
Here’s a shot of the freshly painted columns of the Cambie Bridge stretching across Vancouver’s False Creek. The blue shading is meant to show the potential impacts of the melting of Earth’s major ice sheets in terms of sea level rise. Details here. 
Related:
'New public art installations function as an understated but alarming urban intervention' (Georgia Straight)
'Report illustrates toll of climate change in Vancouver' (Georgia Straight)
'Vancouver in the research spotlight as one of the world's most vulnerable cities to rising sea levels' (Adaptation to Climate Change Team - SFU)
'Sea level rise underestimated, say BC scientists' (CBC)
'Coastal Cities at Risk'
'Sea level rise for the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future' (National Academies Press)
‘Sea Level Rise Will Hit California Harder than Rest of West’ (Climate Central)
‘Warmer seas rising faster on U.S. east coast than elsewhere’ (CBC)

Visualizing climate change in Vancouver 

Here’s a shot of the freshly painted columns of the Cambie Bridge stretching across Vancouver’s False Creek. The blue shading is meant to show the potential impacts of the melting of Earth’s major ice sheets in terms of sea level rise. Details here

Related:

Thinking Globally: ‘How Much Water is on Earth’
From The US Geological Survey:

The largest sphere represents all of Earth’s water, and its diameter is about 860 miles (the distance from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Topeka, Kansas). It would have a volume of about 332,500,000 cubic miles (mi3) (1,386,000,000 cubic kilometers (km3)). The sphere includes all the water in the oceans, ice caps, lakes, and rivers, as well as groundwater, atmospheric water, and even the water in you, your dog, and your tomato plant.
…
The blue sphere over Kentucky represents the world’s liquid fresh water (groundwater, lakes, swamp water, and rivers). The volume comes to about 2,551,100 mi3 (10,633,450 km3), of which 99 percent is groundwater, much of which is not accessible to humans. The diameter of this sphere is about 169.5 miles (272.8 kilometers).
…
Do you notice that “tiny” bubble over Atlanta, Georgia? That one represents fresh water in all the lakes and rivers on the planet, and most of the water people and life of earth need every day comes from these surface-water sources. The volume of this sphere is about 22,339 mi3 (93,113 km3). The diameter of this sphere is about 34.9 miles (56.2 kilometers). Yes, Lake Michigan looks way bigger than this sphere, but you have to try to imagine a bubble almost 35 miles high—whereas the average depth of Lake Michigan is less than 300 feet (91 meters).

You can read more info and the methodology used to calculate the size of our global water supply here. 
(Photo source: US Geological Survey)

Thinking Globally: ‘How Much Water is on Earth’

From The US Geological Survey:

The largest sphere represents all of Earth’s water, and its diameter is about 860 miles (the distance from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Topeka, Kansas). It would have a volume of about 332,500,000 cubic miles (mi3) (1,386,000,000 cubic kilometers (km3)). The sphere includes all the water in the oceans, ice caps, lakes, and rivers, as well as groundwater, atmospheric water, and even the water in you, your dog, and your tomato plant.

The blue sphere over Kentucky represents the world’s liquid fresh water (groundwater, lakes, swamp water, and rivers). The volume comes to about 2,551,100 mi3 (10,633,450 km3), of which 99 percent is groundwater, much of which is not accessible to humans. The diameter of this sphere is about 169.5 miles (272.8 kilometers).

Do you notice that “tiny” bubble over Atlanta, Georgia? That one represents fresh water in all the lakes and rivers on the planet, and most of the water people and life of earth need every day comes from these surface-water sources. The volume of this sphere is about 22,339 mi3 (93,113 km3). The diameter of this sphere is about 34.9 miles (56.2 kilometers). Yes, Lake Michigan looks way bigger than this sphere, but you have to try to imagine a bubble almost 35 miles high—whereas the average depth of Lake Michigan is less than 300 feet (91 meters).

You can read more info and the methodology used to calculate the size of our global water supply here

(Photo source: US Geological Survey)

Webinar Tonight: ‘Shaping Communities as if Sustainability Mattered’

From The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions:

Join us for a discussion with two of Vancouver’s most influential planning academics, Professors Mark Roseland and Ron Kellett. Learn more from Mark Roseland about what’s happened at the community level in sustainable development since the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, 1992. Find out about Ron Kellett’s work on engaging citizens through “measured visualizations” to explore and express the links of energy, GHG emissions and community planning.

When: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm


Live Web Stream: www.pics.uvic.ca/events.php

More here.

* Note that it starts at 5:00 PM Pacific time (8:00 PM on the East Coast)

Amazing: ‘Hans Rosling’s 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes’

From BBC 4 via YouTube:

Hans Rosling's famous lectures combine enormous quantities of public data with a sport's commentator's style to reveal the story of the world's past, present and future development. Now he explores stats in a way he has never done before - using augmented reality animation. In this spectacular section of 'The Joy of Stats' he tells the story of the world in 200 countries over 200 years using 120,000 numbers - in just four minutes. Plotting life expectancy against income for every country since 1810, Hans shows how the world we live in is radically different from the world most of us imagine.

Infographic: 100 Years Later… ‘Plenty More Fish in the Sea?’
A new report explaining that our oceans are in “shocking” decline and potentially on the brink of a mass extinction event is deservedly attracting a lot of media attention this week. Above is an Information is Beautiful generated complement to the report; showing a stunning 100-year decline of “popularly eaten fish” (e.g. bluefin tuna, cod, haddock, hake, halibut, herring, mackerel, pollock, salmon, sea trout, striped bass, sturgeon, turbot) in the North Atlantic Ocean.
The visualization comes from an article in The Guardian newspaper that explains the science behind the decline and points to collective social amnesia a key reason for our limited awareness of its occurrence. The latter appears to support the argument that we humans are not particularly well adapted to deal with long term crises.
Update: In the interest of not simply posting bad news about the state of our oceans and other ecosystems I was digging around, looking for some solutions. My search turned up a set of recommendations to ”promote maintenance of marine ecosystem services” and “human development” on the Stockholm Resilience Institute’s website. They’re definitely worth a look if you’re interested.

Infographic: 100 Years Later… ‘Plenty More Fish in the Sea?’

A new report explaining that our oceans are in “shocking” decline and potentially on the brink of a mass extinction event is deservedly attracting a lot of media attention this week. Above is an Information is Beautiful generated complement to the report; showing a stunning 100-year decline of “popularly eaten fish” (e.g. bluefin tuna, cod, haddock, hake, halibut, herring, mackerel, pollock, salmon, sea trout, striped bass, sturgeon, turbot) in the North Atlantic Ocean.

The visualization comes from an article in The Guardian newspaper that explains the science behind the decline and points to collective social amnesia a key reason for our limited awareness of its occurrence. The latter appears to support the argument that we humans are not particularly well adapted to deal with long term crises.

Update: In the interest of not simply posting bad news about the state of our oceans and other ecosystems I was digging around, looking for some solutions. My search turned up a set of recommendations to ”promote maintenance of marine ecosystem services” and “human development” on the Stockholm Resilience Institute’s website. They’re definitely worth a look if you’re interested.

transatlanticurbanism
This is a clever way to communicate the urban densities of different cities. Density is a key part of urban sustainability.
As for what the infographic shows, I find it amazing that the world’s 6.9 billion people could fit in the continental US at Houston’s low densities. I also didn’t know that London is less dense than San Francisco. I wonder how they stack up in terms of carbon footprints?
ransatlanticurbanism:

 
If the world’s population lived in one city…  how large would that city be if it were as dense as [insert city here]

This is a clever way to communicate the urban densities of different cities. Density is a key part of urban sustainability.

As for what the infographic shows, I find it amazing that the world’s 6.9 billion people could fit in the continental US at Houston’s low densities. I also didn’t know that London is less dense than San Francisco. I wonder how they stack up in terms of carbon footprints?

ransatlanticurbanism:

If the world’s population lived in one city…  how large would that city be if it were as dense as [insert city here]

Communicating Climate Change

One of the challenges in communicating the problem of climate change is that greenhouse gases are largely invisible. When we use energy we produce emissions. The key is that different types of energy produce different quantities of emissions. For example, hydroelectric power is a much lower carbon energy source than coal. Above is a clever ad produced by the state of Victoria (Australia) that visualizes carbon emission production. Details are here:

Black Balloons Energy Saving Campaign | YOU HAVE THE POWER. SAVE ENERGY. Climate change is happening now and you can do something about it. 
The ‘You have the power. Save Energy’ campaign is encouraging all Victorians (Australia) to save energy at home to cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the impact of climate change. 
You may have seen the balloons featured in the campaign. Each represents 50 grams of greenhouse gas. Every Victorian household produces over 12 tonnes (240,000 balloons) of greenhouse gas emissions each year. 

By saving energy, you’ll save money, as well as help protect our environment from the impacts of climate change. 

For further information about how you can save greenhouse gas, energy and money visit www.sustainability.vic.gov.au