Arctic Warming and Our Changing Weather Patterns

Vox has a great video that explains how loss of sea ice in the arctic is affecting our weather.

Philadelphia Updates, Significantly Improves Street Litter Index

Philadelphia has taken a major step forward with the recent release of the interactive 2017 Litter Index map (link) and supporting data (link).

In my January, 2017 post, I compared Philadelphia’s earlier litter index to the then recently released LA Street Litter Index. LA had made significant improvements in their index. I am thrilled to report that one year later, Philadelphia has a state-of-the-art litter index that  provides litter status data for every street segment in the City.

The new index is based on city block surveys where surveyors assessed the litter  situation on a 4 point scale:

  1. Little to no litter
  2. Litter, in the amount that can be picked up by one person
  3. Litter, in the amount that would need a team to clean up
  4. Litter, requires a large clean effort and/or heavy machinery to remove

Surveyor data included date(s) of survey, litter count for the block as well as a link to field photograph(s).

Users can download the City’s detailed litter survey data at 3 levels of detail:

  • Detailed Survey Points – detailed data for each survey point
  • Street Segments
  • Ward Divisions, aka voting precints

The data is available in CSV files, shapefiles and GeoJSOn files. The best place to start is to look at the Metadata for the point, line and polygon data.

I have started analyzing the 2017 Litter Index Data for Council District 8. These 2 maps show the point survey data and the block – street segment data for Council District 8.

 

 

Congratulations to the City’s Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet for implementing this comprehensive litter measurement system. This data will help community groups, individuals, litter activists and City Departments to focus attention on both city-wide and neighborhood priorities and measure progress as we work together to solve the City’s chronic street trash problem.

Johnstown Flood – How Incompetent Dam Reconstruction Cost 2,209 Lives

I have become quite interested in the use of GIS to study historical events like the Battle of Gettysburg and the Johnstown Flood.

You can view my Johnstown Flood assessment video here:

Greenland Ice Sheet Melt Scientist Interview

Peter Sinclair (https://climatecrocks.com/) provides excellent video interviews with climate scientists. Here’s an interview with Asa Rennermalm of Rutgers.

Texas – Louisiana Coast Rainfall from Hurricane Harvey

NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center is forecasting up to 20-inches of rain for Texas coastal areas over next 7 days (link).

Corpus Christie and Houston are in 20+ inch total 7-day rainfall belt, New Orleans is in the 4-6 inch belt.

Here’s an ArcGIS 10.3 map of the WPC forecast to show the rain belts and Texas – Louisiana cities.

 

Best wishes to all in path of this major flooding event.

Residential Access to Philadelphia’s Sanitation Convenience Centers

Philadelphia has 6 Sanitation Convenience Centers (SCC) that provide residents  safe, free, reliable disposal sites for excess trash and special items like tires and TVs,electronics.

These Centers are a critical resource for the City’s Zero Waste and Litter efforts, however, there are two residential access issues that must be addressed to ensure their potential effectiveness:

  1. Approximately 33% of Philadelphia Housing Units do not own or lease a vehicle, presenting a serious challenge to residents with excess trash. How do they get their excess trash to an SCC?This map shows the of % households without a  vehicle by Census Tract. More than 50% of households do not have a vehicle in 71 census tracts.
    Residents how do not have access to a vehicle so that they can not use the City’s Convenience Centers without borrowing or renting a vehicle.
    We may need some type of trash taxi service for those households without access to a vehicle.
  2. For those households with a vehicle, travel times from residents’ home to an SCC and back can present a significant time challenge. The following map shows the estimated one-way travel times areas for 5, 10 and 15 minutes trips.I think that a 15-minute one-way travel time (30 minutes round trip) is the upper limit for residents to transport excess trash to a SCC on a regular basis.

Residents access to an SCC is critical for reducing illegal dumping. The City will need to improve access to the SCCs for households without vehicles and those outside the 15-minute travel time zones

 

Arctic Sea Ice Melting and Pennsylvania Weather

The Snow,Water, Ice, and Permafrost in the Arctic, or SWIPA, has released a report on their 5 year study. Highlights have been summarized in this powerful video.

I recommend Peter Sinclair’s Climate Denial Crock of the Week  for those concerned about climate change.