1410 - California Droughts

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1410 - California Droughts

Postby serutan » Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:29 am UTC

Image


Alt Text : 58% of the state has gone into plaid.

See he's been visiting the US drought page - that dark color means 'exceptional' short term drought.

EDIT : Oops, missed the legend...
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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby xokocodo » Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:33 am UTC

I am a little disappointed about how short of a time-frame is being graphed. In terms of historical perspective, 15 years is hardly enough to see any real patterns.

It would be cool to see this graph extended

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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby Exos » Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:44 am UTC

So, who or what is Richard Tinker? Is this a plan by RM to overwhelm some servers?

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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby owneroperator » Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:51 am UTC

xokocodo wrote:I am a little disappointed about how short of a time-frame is being graphed. In terms of historical perspective, 15 years is hardly enough to see any real patterns.

It would be cool to see this graph extended

exactly what I came here to say. How far back does the data go?

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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby chris.scl » Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:12 am UTC

California is long and skinny!? Ha!

(said the Chilean)

(cf. #1398)

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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby bachaddict » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:14 am UTC

What defines the severity of a drought? Length of time without precipitation? Depth of the water table?

I wonder how many people here didn't get the movie references.
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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby kodiac » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:49 am UTC

So... the top edge of the graph is northern California, and the bottom edge is south?
As a non-American, I'm not in the habit of remembering the shape of US states.

I now have a desire to watch Spaceballs again.
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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby philip1201 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:16 am UTC

kodiac wrote:So... the top edge of the graph is northern California, and the bottom edge is south?
As a non-American, I'm not in the habit of remembering the shape of US states.


Not exactly. California is rotated with respect to a world map to maximise the length in the graph. The straight border on the upper right runs perfectly west-east in the real world. You could just google it.

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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby da Doctah » Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:26 am UTC

chris.scl wrote:California is long and skinny!? Ha!

(said the Chilean)

(cf. #1398)


We went through a lot of atlades (is that the correct plural of atlas?) a few years ago trying to find some country or other well-defined region whose geographic center wasn't actually in the country. Chile is far enough from round for it to work, but it's basically a straight strip. California's a little better because it's bent in the middle. I think we decided that the country that came closest to fulfilling the condition was either Laos or Thailand.

Can anybody do better?

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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby PayasYouDraw » Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:33 am UTC

da Doctah wrote:
chris.scl wrote:California is long and skinny!? Ha!

(said the Chilean)

(cf. #1398)


We went through a lot of atlades (is that the correct plural of atlas?) a few years ago trying to find some country or other well-defined region whose geographic center wasn't actually in the country. Chile is far enough from round for it to work, but it's basically a straight strip. California's a little better because it's bent in the middle. I think we decided that the country that came closest to fulfilling the condition was either Laos or Thailand.

Can anybody do better?


Surely Malaysia and Indonesia would be good candidates.
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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby skullmagic2 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:57 am UTC

da Doctah wrote:
chris.scl wrote:California is long and skinny!? Ha!

(said the Chilean)

(cf. #1398)


We went through a lot of atlades (is that the correct plural of atlas?) a few years ago trying to find some country or other well-defined region whose geographic center wasn't actually in the country. Chile is far enough from round for it to work, but it's basically a straight strip. California's a little better because it's bent in the middle. I think we decided that the country that came closest to fulfilling the condition was either Laos or Thailand.

Can anybody do better?


Norway and Croatia seem like possibilities.

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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby Envelope Generator » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:03 am UTC

NorwayCroatia.
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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby eviloatmeal » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:29 am UTC

da Doctah wrote:trying to find some country or other well-defined region whose geographic center wasn't actually in the country.

Surely the US must have its geographic center somewhere in Canada, no?
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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby orthogon » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:29 am UTC

I've been resisting posting for a few days after I noticed that my next post would be a big round-number milestone for me. But I have to do it sometime, so here goes:

I'm thinking that East Pakistan might have had enough area and been far enough away from the rest of the country to move the centre of the post-Partition Pakistan into India. Obviously it hasn't been the case since Bangladesh gained its independence, but maybe there's another country with a significant and distant enclave. Or are non-contiguous regions against the rules?
EDIT: One last hesitation and eviloatmeal ninjas me. :evil: I thought about the US but forgot about Alaska. Still it's less than 20% of the area, so will it move the centre by enough?
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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby x7eggert » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:25 am UTC

da Doctah wrote:We went through a lot of atlades (is that the correct plural of atlas?) a few years ago trying to find some country or other well-defined region whose geographic center wasn't actually in the country. Chile is far enough from round for it to work, but it's basically a straight strip. California's a little better because it's bent in the middle. I think we decided that the country that came closest to fulfilling the condition was either Laos or Thailand.

Can anybody do better?


I'm just guessing: The Commonwealth may or may not have it's center on a commonwealth country. And it may depend on which kind of map you use. And if you only count the ground, I'd look for islands.

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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby cellocgw » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:27 am UTC

owneroperator wrote:
xokocodo wrote:I am a little disappointed about how short of a time-frame is being graphed. In terms of historical perspective, 15 years is hardly enough to see any real patterns.

It would be cool to see this graph extended

exactly what I came here to say. How far back does the data go?


Well, here's an graph generated from the Modesto Valley Historical Records (speaking of movies references :oops: )

rain.png
rain.png (5.2 KiB) Viewed 8622 times


I'll go off and look for similar data from other areas.

ETA: here's another one http://www.slvwd.com/rainfall.pdf
Last edited by cellocgw on Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:31 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby Dlareg » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:31 am UTC

Can just a part of a country go plaid?
And if so what is the speed difference at the edges?
May be I'll just send in a what-if about that.

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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby MathUhhhSaurus » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:37 am UTC

Meanwhile, the East coast is getting drenched.

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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby eviloatmeal » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:46 am UTC

orthogon wrote:I thought about the US but forgot about Alaska. Still it's less than 20% of the area, so will it move the centre by enough?

Depends how you determine it, I suppose. Certainly its center of gravity would be somewhere in the big contiguous part, despite having a large ballast next to Canada, and a small one in the middle of the Pacific.

Actually, Wikipedia suggests that it's in South Dakota, so I guess my idea is officially a bust.

The State of Palestine might be a candidate? What with the Gaza Strip, and the chunk of Israel right there in the middle (Jerusalem etc.).
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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby pixeldigger » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:55 am UTC

bachaddict wrote:What defines the severity of a drought? Length of time without precipitation? Depth of the water table?

I wonder how many people here didn't get the movie references.



ME! ME!

oooho ooh pick me
I missed the movie references.

I still have no clue what movies are referenced.........
:oops:

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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby brenok » Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:00 pm UTC

pixeldigger wrote:
bachaddict wrote:What defines the severity of a drought? Length of time without precipitation? Depth of the water table?

I wonder how many people here didn't get the movie references.



ME! ME!

oooho ooh pick me
I missed the movie references.

I still have no clue what movies are referenced.........
:oops:

I personally think he's messing with you. No pun intended.

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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby feldgrau » Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:09 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:We went through a lot of atlades (is that the correct plural of atlas?) a few years ago trying to find some country or other well-defined region whose geographic center wasn't actually in the country. Chile is far enough from round for it to work, but it's basically a straight strip. California's a little better because it's bent in the middle. I think we decided that the country that came closest to fulfilling the condition was either Laos or Thailand.

Can anybody do better?


In addition to already mentioned candidates, I'd suggest testing Croatia, Somalia or Vietnam.

/feldgrau

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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby PinkShinyRose » Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:10 pm UTC

eviloatmeal wrote:
da Doctah wrote:trying to find some country or other well-defined region whose geographic center wasn't actually in the country.

Surely the US must have its geographic center somewhere in Canada, no?

I doubt it. The USA is a nice rectangle with 2 exclaves. Even counting those overseas territories (only the ones formally annexed, not the ones administered as separate entities or dependencies): Alaska is relatively small and very close to the motherland, Hawaii is smaller but the distance may make it's effect larger. Hawaii is mostly West of the bulk of the US though and due to it's East-West orientation it probably wouldn't do much. If we don't count overseas territories I guess we're looking for a long curved country and candidates I would think of are: Somalia, Mexico, Croatia, Norway, Vietnam, Japan, Chile (curved near Cape Horn), New Zealand and maybe Russia, China, Senegal and Thailand (top bulk may be too large). Partitioned countries could also work: Malaysia (do Saba and Sarawak count as overseas?), Greece, the Philippines, and Italy (Sardinia is large).

If we count overseas fully annexed territories more countries could qualify: France (unsure about status of territories), Spain (Canary Islands), Portugal (unsure about the status of the Azores), UK (if counted as one), the Netherlands (but Caribbean integrated islands are probably too small) and again Chile (it's shape can cause tiny islands to make it qualify).

I'm unsure how to count the Northern Territory though, as it's administered as inferior to other parts of Australia but is not overseas.

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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby orthogon » Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:13 pm UTC

x7eggert wrote:
da Doctah wrote:We went through a lot of atlades (is that the correct plural of atlas?) a few years ago trying to find some country or other well-defined region whose geographic center wasn't actually in the country. Chile is far enough from round for it to work, but it's basically a straight strip. California's a little better because it's bent in the middle. I think we decided that the country that came closest to fulfilling the condition was either Laos or Thailand.

Can anybody do better?


I'm just guessing: The Commonwealth may or may not have it's center on a commonwealth country. And it may depend on which kind of map you use.

Just a bit, yes. When the region includes areas on opposite sides of the world, you can't really neglect the curvature of the Earth... The only intellectually acceptable approach would be to use a globe, and determine whether the centre of mass was within a part of the Earth to which one of the members has mineral rights.

Once we start thinking about groupings like the Commonwealth, there are all sorts of possibilities: NATO, the G8, the permanent UN Security Council members... I might guess that the centre of the Spanish-speaking world is somewhere in Brazil.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby ramblinjd » Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:44 pm UTC

Personally I'd like to see RM do similar charts for other long skinny geographic regions. Not necessarily with drought/rain - perhaps with migration patterns or demographics, or location of natural disasters/accidents, etc.
Good candidates:
    Tennessee, USA
    Chile
    New Zealand
    Japan
    Italy
    Hawaii
    :?:
Any other ideas?

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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby PinkShinyRose » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:31 pm UTC

ramblinjd wrote:Personally I'd like to see RM do similar charts for other long skinny geographic regions. Not necessarily with drought/rain - perhaps with migration patterns or demographics, or location of natural disasters/accidents, etc.
Good candidates:
    Tennessee, USA
    Chile
    New Zealand
    Japan
    Italy
    Hawaii
    :?:
Any other ideas?

Norway, Vietnam, Nepal, Laos, Sweden, Finland, mainland Denmark, Austria, Monaco, Gambia, Slovakia, Argentina, mainland Malaysia, Cuba, Georgia (country, not constituent of USA), Portugal, Cyprus, Russia, Turkey, Pakistan, Israel, Tunisia, Madagascar and a whole lot of small island nations. Also many islands that are not their own countries, for example: Java, Sumatra, Honshu, Crete, most Dutch European islands, and South Island (New Zealand). Other interesting geographic regions may be mountain ranges (generally long and slender), volcanic regions, fjords (also often long and slender), rivers (see previous comments), seas, dams and lakes.

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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby mathmannix » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:34 pm UTC

brenok wrote:
pixeldigger wrote:
bachaddict wrote:What defines the severity of a drought? Length of time without precipitation? Depth of the water table?

I wonder how many people here didn't get the movie references.



ME! ME!

oooho ooh pick me
I missed the movie references.

I still have no clue what movies are referenced.........
:oops:

I personally think he's messing with you. No pun intended.


"ludicrous" and "gone [in]to plaid" are references to Spaceballs.
Last edited by mathmannix on Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:43 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby squall_line » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:42 pm UTC

brenok wrote:
pixeldigger wrote:
bachaddict wrote:What defines the severity of a drought? Length of time without precipitation? Depth of the water table?

I wonder how many people here didn't get the movie references.



ME! ME!

oooho ooh pick me
I missed the movie references.

I still have no clue what movies are referenced.........
:oops:

I personally think he's messing with you. No pun intended.


Nobody's messing with anybody; there was at least one movie specifically referenced by the image and subsequent title-text. And that movie has been brought up by someone else in this discussion already (although not directly called out as the reference). If you think that there's no movie reference, you probably fall into the group of "people who didn't get the movie references."

*edit* ninja'd by mathmannix, more or less.

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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:55 pm UTC

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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby mathmannix » Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:20 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:
eviloatmeal wrote:
da Doctah wrote:trying to find some country or other well-defined region whose geographic center wasn't actually in the country.

Surely the US must have its geographic center somewhere in Canada, no?

I doubt it. The USA is a nice rectangle with 2 exclaves. Even counting those overseas territories (only the ones formally annexed, not the ones administered as separate entities or dependencies): Alaska is relatively small and very close to the motherland, Hawaii is smaller but the distance may make it's effect larger. Hawaii is mostly West of the bulk of the US though and due to it's East-West orientation it probably wouldn't do much. If we don't count overseas territories I guess we're looking for a long curved country and candidates I would think of are: Somalia, Mexico, Croatia, Norway, Vietnam, Japan, Chile (curved near Cape Horn), New Zealand and maybe Russia, China, Senegal and Thailand (top bulk may be too large). Partitioned countries could also work: Malaysia (do Saba and Sarawak count as overseas?), Greece, the Philippines, and Italy (Sardinia is large).

If we count overseas fully annexed territories more countries could qualify: France (unsure about status of territories), Spain (Canary Islands), Portugal (unsure about the status of the Azores), UK (if counted as one), the Netherlands (but Caribbean integrated islands are probably too small) and again Chile (it's shape can cause tiny islands to make it qualify).

I'm unsure how to count the Northern Territory though, as it's administered as inferior to other parts of Australia but is not overseas.


Australia would definitely be an example, if you count the Australian Antarctic Territory (and you should), nearly as large as the Australian continent itself (5.9 million km2 vs 8.6 million km2). 40% of the way between their centers is clearly in the ocean. Not sure if this logic applies to Denmark as well?

Oh, and the Geographical center of the U.S. is in North Dakota if you count Alaska (Kansas if you don't).
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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby CharlieP » Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:31 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:If we count overseas fully annexed territories more countries could qualify: France (unsure about status of territories)


From Wikipedia:

"Among the 101 departments of France, five (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Réunion) are in overseas regions (ROMs) that are also simultaneously overseas departments (DOMs) and are an integral part of France (and the European Union) and thus enjoy exactly the same status as metropolitan departments."
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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby keithl » Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:49 pm UTC

Drought? I thought California was returning to the long-term status quo after a century of extreme rainfall. In 1850, California had 92,597 people; now there's 37 million, many of whom will be homeless and waterless after the next big earthquake. Or wildfire. Or enforcement of US/Mexico treaties for Colorado river water.

I had an argument at OSCON with an ex-Oregonian who moved to California for sun and sailing. He felt that agriculture should be halted in California so there will be more water for cities. After all, sez he, San Diego get's most of its produce from Mexico, and most of California's produce goes to other states.

While I'm glad that Oregon has one less selfish agreement-flouting scoundrel (increasing the average ethicality of both states), I pity the descendants of the foolish estancieros who shared their land and water with immigrants to California. The land doesn't have the long-term carrying capacity for a tenth of the population it has, but that population has a lot of votes, and lawyers, and money to seize the water and clean air of neighboring states and countries. Countries plural - if California taps the Columbia river, the effects will reach into Canada.

That said, fresh water floats on salt water, and ice floats on fresh. I can imagine huge, long draft carbon fiber water bags towed from the Ross Ice Shelf to water the California hoards. A square kilometer of the shelf per week (out of half a billion) would do it. Bigger and longer increases energy efficiency and relative strength compared to waves. The Artic is closer, but the Bering Strait is too shallow. After we stop burning coal, ship the surplus mining equipment to Antarctica.

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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:55 pm UTC

keithl wrote:He felt that agriculture should be halted in California so there will be more water for cities. After all, sez he, San Diego get's most of its produce from Mexico, and most of California's produce goes to other states.
This is a fine sentiment, but California's agriculture is being used to generate a pretty massive income. Which is used to pay for things. Among which include water. So it's one of those 'it's not that simple' things.

keithl wrote:That said, fresh water floats on salt water, and ice floats on fresh. I can imagine huge, long draft carbon fiber water bags towed from the Ross Ice Shelf to water the California hoards. A square kilometer of the shelf per week (out of half a billion) would do it. Bigger and longer increases energy efficiency and relative strength compared to waves. The Artic is closer, but the Bering Strait is too shallow. After we stop burning coal, ship the surplus mining equipment to Antarctica.
When this is cheaper than the desalinization plants in California, then yes, maybe it will be a thing. Until then, it's akin to suggesting Asteroid Mining as a solution to metal shortages.
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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby Someguy945 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:10 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:
chris.scl wrote:California is long and skinny!? Ha!

(said the Chilean)

(cf. #1398)


We went through a lot of atlades (is that the correct plural of atlas?) a few years ago trying to find some country or other well-defined region whose geographic center wasn't actually in the country. Chile is far enough from round for it to work, but it's basically a straight strip. California's a little better because it's bent in the middle. I think we decided that the country that came closest to fulfilling the condition was either Laos or Thailand.

Can anybody do better?


Just from a glance it's surely not the case, but it would have been an interesting result if the geographic center of South Africa was actually in Lesotho or Swaziland. South Africa is a fairly ordinary shape, except for the unusual property of containing other countries inside of itself.

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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby feldgrau » Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:16 pm UTC

The whole "geographical centre" thing is interresting since there is no single agreed on definition. What's your favorite definition, and what does it say about you (comic reference 977)?

I mean, for a hypothetical L-country, you could get two different results even if using the same method (midpoint of latlong extremes), depending on how the country would be rotated on the surface of the earth. If the L-shaped country had its two main parts oriented north-south and west-east, the centre would be outside the country's borders. But if you rotated the L-shape somewhat, you would be able to get the geographical centre inside its borders. That doesn't seem fair.

My preferred method would be to use the equilibrium point (that is, centre of mass with all land having equal density).

/feldgrau

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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby suso » Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:28 pm UTC

owneroperator wrote:
xokocodo wrote:I am a little disappointed about how short of a time-frame is being graphed. In terms of historical perspective, 15 years is hardly enough to see any real patterns.

It would be cool to see this graph extended

exactly what I came here to say. How far back does the data go?


<AOL>Me too!</AOL>

There were significant droughts in the 80s and before that would be worthy of inclusion so people don't just say "Global Warming". For as thorough as Randall usually is, I'm surprised his time line started so recently.
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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby PinkShinyRose » Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:52 pm UTC

feldgrau wrote:The whole "geographical centre" thing is interresting since there is no single agreed on definition. What's your favorite definition, and what does it say about you (comic reference 977)?

I mean, for a hypothetical L-country, you could get two different results even if using the same method (midpoint of latlong extremes), depending on how the country would be rotated on the surface of the earth. If the L-shaped country had its two main parts oriented north-south and west-east, the centre would be outside the country's borders. But if you rotated the L-shape somewhat, you would be able to get the geographical centre inside its borders. That doesn't seem fair.

My preferred method would be to use the equilibrium point (that is, centre of mass with all land having equal density).

/feldgrau

I don't see your point with L-shaped countries. I can think of two real-world cases: Croatia and Somalia. Both are a little thickish for an L, Somalia is even more enter-key shaped than L-shaped, but I don't see how rotating either country would lead to the mid-lat.-mid-long. point being inside the country... I could imagine it for an actual enter-key or a country actually shaped like that, but it's a stretch to call that L-shaped (it's more elephants foot shaped).

The Devils Engineer
Posts: 34
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Location: San Diego, CA

Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby The Devils Engineer » Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:05 pm UTC

ramblinjd wrote:Personally I'd like to see RM do similar charts for other long skinny geographic regions. Not necessarily with drought/rain - perhaps with migration patterns or demographics, or location of natural disasters/accidents, etc.
Good candidates: Hawaii


You could not not be more wrong than Hawaii, especially Oahu. I lived on Oahu for a year (military service). One of the things that amazes people upon getting to Oahu is that for such a relatively small island, the four corners of the island have vastly different climates. The east side of Oahu is tropical rainforest. The west side is a desert climate, especially the upper north west corner. Mililani, a town in the center of the Island, actually gets uncomfortable COLD at night, while the lower half of the Island is always humid and a bit warm. I've never been to such a small place that got so many different climate conditions in such a small area.

G.
“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”
“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”

― Mark Twain

drmboat
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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby drmboat » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:25 pm UTC

Funny how nobody bothered to create this graph on the drought situation in California in August 2011...

And thanks for the graph from the Modesto area. I'd love to see what the overall trendline looks like, with the naked eye it looks like random noise.

And if it doesn't show a decrease in average rainfall, maybe if you just happened to chop off a couple of low points at the beginning we can make it look bad enough to back our pre-conceived arguments.

ps.02
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Re: 1410 - California Droughts

Postby ps.02 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:36 pm UTC

For "geographic center outside the land borders," look at São Tomé and Príncipe. Or Kiribati, or the Marshall Islands, or the Andaman Islands. Or pretty much any country consisting of one ore more atolls. Possibly Indonesia and the Bahamas, but those are less clear-cut. Maaaaybe even the UK - does NI pull the center into the sea? Hard to tell.

Anyway, it doesn't seem to be a terribly rare thing.


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