A New NASA Map Shows Spring Is Coming Earlier Each Year

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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]

The Most Binge-Watched TV Show in Each State

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iStock.com/franckreporter

Does geographical location influence taste when it comes to binge-watching TV shows? That was the question tackled by Geek.com, which polled 1500 people across the country recently to discover which shows rank among the most popular in each state. Here’s what they found out.

An infographic shows the most-binged television shows in each state
Geek.com

It comes as little surprise that Game of Thrones, which is available on HBO’s cable and streaming platforms, is a series that exhibits widespread appeal. The fantasy drama, which is currently airing its eighth and final season, ranks as the show most likely to be binged and the favorite of eight states. Coming in second was The Office (Netflix), with Ozark (Netflix), The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime), and Grace and Frankie (Netflix) rounding out the top five.

A list of the most-binged shows in the country is pictured
Geek.com

Many of the binged shows are comedies, with 44.9 percent of respondents deeming it their preferred genre. Residents of Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Utah were notable exceptions, with those states leaning toward dramas.

While shows like Friends, NCIS, and Stranger Things ranked first in many states, others hold some outliers. The Hallmark family drama When Calls the Heart is favored in Utah, Nevada prefers the CW series Supernatural, and North Dakota enjoys the violent action-drama The Punisher.

While Game of Thrones is on top for now, streaming services shouldn’t underestimate the affection for network sitcoms. Of those polled, 19 percent said they would cancel Netflix if Friends left the line-up, and 14 percent would do the same if The Office disappeared.

[h/t Geek.com]

The Most Talked-About Cat and Dog Breeds in Each State

Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Every pet parent thinks their fur baby’s breed is the brightest and cutest—and in a way, they’re all right. But some breeds are more popular on social media than others, and we’re not talking about the number of followers your munchkin cat or blue-eyed husky has on Instagram.

As Veterinarian’s Money Digest reports, TrustedHousesitters—a website that matches travel-loving pet parents with trusted pet sitters—analyzed more than 3.5 million social media posts (on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook) across the country to determine the most widely discussed cat and dog breeds by state. As it turns out, the most talked-about feline and canine breeds are Persians and bulldogs, respectively. Persians are the top talked-about kitty in 31 states, and bulldogs are social media stars in 13 states (although the findings didn't distinguish between English and French bulldogs).

More than half of all social media mentions of pet breeds came from Californians, who apparently love to discuss their animals online. Some of the findings are unsurprising—like the fact that the husky is most popular in Alaska, or that the Maine coon is most popular in Maine—while others are harder to explain. (Take, for instance, South Dakota’s affinity for short-haired Abyssinian cats.)

The analysis also took smaller pets into consideration. Lizards are discussed more frequently than any particular cat or dog in Las Vegas, and micro pigs are surprisingly popular in Arizona. For the adorable evidence, just look at the Instagram hashtag #AZMicroMiniPigs.

Check out the interactive map below to see where your kitty or pooch’s breed is most popular.

[h/t Veterinarian’s Money Digest]

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