A New NASA Map Shows Spring Is Coming Earlier Each Year

iStock
iStock

Climate change is shifting Earth’s seasons. Winters are getting shorter, and the warmth of spring has started to arrive earlier and earlier, messing with the timing of processes like animal migrations and the budding of new plant growth. In a series of graphics spotted by Flowing Data, the NASA Earth Observatory shows how much earlier new leaves are arriving in some parts of the U.S., and how much earlier they reach full bloom.

The data comes from a 2016 study of U.S. national parks, so the maps only cover seasonal changes within the park system. But since there are so many parks spread across the U.S., it’s a pretty good snapshot of how climate change is affecting the timing of spring across the country. The map in green shows the difference in “first leaf” arrival, or when the first leaves emerge from tree buds, and the map in purple shows the arrival of the first blooms.

A map of the U.S. with a colored grid showing where leaves are coming earlier
Joshua Stevens, NASA Earth Observatory

Around 75 percent of the 276 parks analyzed in the study have been experiencing earlier springs, and half had recently seen the earliest springs recorded in 112 years. In Olympic National Park in Washington, the first leaves are now appearing 23 days earlier than they did a century ago, while the Grand Canyon is seeing leaves appear about 11 days earlier. National parks in the Sierras and in Utah are seeing leaves appear five to 10 days earlier, as are areas along the Appalachian Trail. Some parks, however, particularly in the South, are actually seeing a later arrival of spring leaves, shown in dark gray in the graphic.

A map of the U.S. with a colored grid showing where blooms are coming earlier
Joshua Stevens, NASA Earth Observatory

The places that are witnessing earlier first blooms aren't always the ones with extra-early first leaves. The Appalachian Trail is blooming earlier, even though the first leaves aren't arriving any earlier. But in other places, like Olympic National Park, both the first leaves and the first blooms are arriving far earlier than they used to.

“Changes in leaf and flowering dates have broad ramifications for nature,” National Park Service ecologist John Gross explained in the Earth Observatory’s blog. “Pollinators, migratory birds, hibernating species, elk, and caribou all rely on food sources that need to be available at the right time.” When temperatures get out of sync with usual seasonal changes, those species suffer.

[h/t Flowing Data]

Here's How Much Money You Need to Retire Early in Each State

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iStock.com/katso80

If you're complacent with your career, your goals might be limited to grabbing the last office doughnut. But if you have an eye on retirement, you might be wondering how much it's going to take to walk away from the desk forever.

Cost information website How Much has compiled estimates of the savings residents of each state might need in order to retire early at the ages of 35, 45, and 55. The site used figures from GoBankingRates that looked at the cost of living in the various regions and then estimated annual expenses based on age with an average 4 percent withdrawal rate annually.

If you wanted to retire at age 35 in Ohio, for example, having $1.61 million in your savings account would be ideal. In California, you’d need $2.37 million.

An infographic shows how much money is needed to retire at age 35 in each state
howmuch

An infographic shows how much money is needed to retire by age 45 in each state
howmuch

An infographic shows how much money is needed to retire by age 55 in each state
howmuch

The site cautions that this is an oversimplification of what should be some highly individualized financial planning. Everyone has different needs, and the numbers don't account for inflation or for adjusting the 4 percent annual withdrawal. In short, this is nothing you should pass along to your accountant. What these charts can do, however, is spark motivation to make your own plans for having a comfortable retirement. If you want to spend it in Hawaii, it might be best to start saving now.

[h/t Thrillist]

Each State’s Most Streamed TV Show in 2018

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iStock.com/gpetric

The ladies of Litchfield are loved across America. According to a state-by-state analysis from HowtoWatch.com, Orange is the New Black was the country's most streamed show in 2018, with eight states searching for OITNB-related news more than any other series. The prison drama, which is due for its seventh and final season likely sometime this summer, was also the third most-streamed show of 2018 overall.

To create its map of the most beloved shows by state, HowtoWatch.com started with a list of the most popular shows on the four major streaming platforms: Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, and Amazon’s Prime Video. Its analysts then used Google Trends to determine which shows were most popular in certain states.

As it turns out, newer isn’t necessarily better. Plenty of old favorites and guilty pleasures like Cheers, Frasier, Sex and the City, ER, Friday Night Lights, and Lost topped the charts. The Office, which ended in 2013 and remains the most popular show on Netflix, reigned as king in two states in HowToWatch.com's findings.

Although Netflix claims more than 70 percent of the country’s streaming customers, according to HowtoWatch.com, a few shows from other platforms also cropped up. Alaskans are watching Game of Thrones on HBO GO, Coloradans and North Carolinians are watching South Park on Hulu, and residents in several states are watching Goliath on Amazon Prime.

Check out the map below to see what your friends and family are streaming, and click on the link below it to enlarge the picture.

A map showing the most streamed shows by state

HowtoWatch.com (click here to enlarge)

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