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Author Topic: Other slow races to watch  (Read 2771 times)

Paddy

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Other slow races to watch
« on: July 08, 2015, 02:25:49 AM »
Polar ice tracking has been described as akin to watching a very slow race.  If the finishing line is an ice-free Arctic, then it's likely to be out there somewhere, although we don't know how many years it will take to reach it.

Are there any other slow races that you like to watch?  I'm guessing that global temperatures, CO2 levels etc. will be commonplace here, but what else (especially things unrelated to the ice)?  For me, it's disease control programmes in general, and particularly the eradication programmes vs polio and guinea worm (even though neither is now remotely important as a threat to global health since they've been pushed back so far, it'll be good to see the day when they're gone entirely).  Also, the millennium development goals, and human population trends, to an extent.

Neven

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Re: Other slow races to watch
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2015, 07:16:37 AM »
At the moment I enjoy watching the monthly power and water consumption numbers in our new home. The race starts next year when adjustments should lower those numbers even more.  :)

Not really a race, but definitely slow.  ;)
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silkman

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Re: Other slow races to watch
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2015, 08:35:47 AM »
This is a great website for slow race watchers:

http://www.worldometers.info

Paddy

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Re: Other slow races to watch
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2015, 09:35:40 AM »
Nice!

wili

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Re: Other slow races to watch
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2015, 03:57:17 PM »
Yeah, thanks, silkman; hadn't seen that one before. But I find rates and graphs give me a better overall picture than absolute numbers. http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?v=24&c=xx&l=en

It looks like population growth rate hit a historic low last year, continuing a long-term trend. Even better news is that it came from a decrease in the birthrate more than from an increase in the death rate. If we project last years drop forward, we hit zero population growth in just over 20 years. Of course, projection is not prediction, especially here.

Another compelling representation of birth rates, death rates, and rates of CO2 emissions with eerie sound effects can be found at breathingearth: http://www.breathingearth.net/
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Paddy

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Re: Other slow races to watch
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2015, 04:23:03 PM »
It looks like population growth rate hit a historic low last year, continuing a long-term trend. Even better news is that it came from a decrease in the birthrate more than from an increase in the death rate. If we project last years drop forward, we hit zero population growth in just over 20 years. Of course, projection is not prediction, especially here.

Indeed, projection isn't prediction, especially as the current estimates we have to project from are based on models rather than exact data a lot of the time.  But it's welcome news if they're on the way down; and a fertility rate of 2.43 is getting tantalisingly close to replacement level, especially when you adjust for differences in the male:female birth ratio (due, regrettably, to sex selection in China, India and elsewhere).

I'll be interested to see whether the UN's population estimates agree when they're published in a few weeks.