13 August 2012

Monday infographics: US drought

For your now-regular infographic this week, I was looking for something that showed relationships between the current drought in the US and related issues in water use, agricultural production, food prices, etc. However, the only infographic that I could find with a number of those topics together was not adequate as a stand-alone information source; specifically, it had a lot of data relevant to the current conditions in the US, but no sources listed at the designer's site or on the graphic itself. What's the point of that?

So, for today, I pulled graphics from two sources: the US Drought Monitor (the map below) and the USDA Economic Research Service (the two bar graphs below). For consistency of the data below, I've included here the map corresponding to the date of the analysis from which the ERS produced these graphs. The US Drought Monitor map dated 24 July 2012 corresponds to the approximate maximum geographic extent of drought conditions to date this summer, covering approximately 64% of the continental US. Subsequent maps indicate that the drought has essentially deepened (become more severe) in the central US and possibly eased slightly in spatial extent around the northern edges over the past couple of weeks. The most up-to-date map can be obtained from the US Drought Monitor site.

From the US Drought Monitor.
From the USDA Economic Research Service.

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