Visualising climate model ensemble outputs in D3.js

Recently I was tasked with prsenting data for future climates to a diverse user base (public, professional, and scientific). It took a lot of time to understand how best to summarise complex outputs of global climate models, and how to display this information in an easy to understand format to end users of our software.

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Barcoding our Biodiversity

PORCHINI MUSHROOMS FOR SALE IN GENOA, ITALY BY DADEROT, VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The huge variety of traits in fauna and flora became an obsession for seventeenth century colonial travellers, who catalogued and classified their new encounters, sending samples home to form large collections, such as those in the Oxford Museum of Natural History and Kew Gardens.

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An Infinite Variety of Names

The common dandelion classified as one or tens of species, depending on who you ask. By Werner100359 (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons*

Despite a rich scientific heritage of environmental exploration and classification, we are still not much closer to understanding how many unique species populate our planet.

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The Ancient Lake that Fertilises the Amazon

Dust from the Sahara makes its way towards America, June 2010. By Jeff Schmaltz (NASA Earth Observatory) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Amazon Rainforest is one of Earth’s most biodiverse locations, and recent evidence suggests that it is tightly coupled to one of the most barren. Using satellite observations, Saharan dust storms have been tracked across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and South America. A unique combination of geological and climatic drivers has created these conditions, which are hypothesised to transport essential nutrients to the Amazon.

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Britain's Hidden Nitrogen Addiction

Spreading fertiliser

The British Isles are home to a group of farming nations. In the United Kingdom, approximately 77% of the total land area is used for farming, providing a substantial contribution to regional and global food security. Since the mid 19th century, increasing intensification of our agricultural system has led to a hugely important increase in food production, but also a dependency on inputs that is spiralling out of control.

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