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Significant Digits For Monday, Dec. 14, 2015

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news.

2 degrees

The 196 nations participating in climate talks agreed to a deal that hopes to limit the warming of our world to 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels. It’s going to cost the developed world $100 billion, at least, to do this, according to the deal’s text. Earlier this month, my colleague Christie Aschwanden wrote about the 2 degree target, and how it’s not as scientific as it’s made out to be. [NPR]


3 finance ministers

Over the weekend, South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma named his third finance minister in one week. First he fired Nhlanhla Nene on Wednesday and appointed David van Rooyen in his place, but then he sacked van Rooyen after two days and appointed Pravin Gordhan on Sunday. The reasoning behind the first firing is unclear, but the South African rand has tanked during the turmoil. [Reuters]


9 candidates

CNN has announced the candidates who qualify for the fifth GOP debate, and nine people have at least 3.5 percent support nationwide or 4 percent support in Iowa or New Hampshire. Chris Christie made the cut for the main event after being excluded from the fourth debate for low numbers. [Business Insider]


$10 bill

The Treasury Department’s plan to change the person on the face of the $10 bill has been delayed until 2016. Alexander Hamilton, the current face of the $10 bill, is having a burst of popularity because of a Broadway musical about his life. That’s led to more feedback than the Treasury anticipated about the plan to put a woman on the $10 bill, and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew now says he is pushing back the decision about who should replace Hamilton. There’s speculation that Andrew Jackson, not Hamilton, could get the boot from the currency. [The Wall Street Journal]


24 games

Over the weekend, the Milwaukee Bucks ended the Golden State Warriors’ winning streak. The Warriors won their first 24 games but lost their 25th, losing 108 to 95 in an away game. [USA Today]


31 percent

According to a new poll from Ann Selzer at the Des Moines Register, Ted Cruz is now leading in Iowa with 31 percent of measured support, about 10 points ahead of Donald Trump. [The Des Moines Register]


83 percent

Percentage of couples surveyed by eBay who will exchange gifts this year. [eBay]


2,000 books

Estimated first month sales of Marco Rubio’s book “American Dreams” from earlier this year. That tied the Florida senator with his Kentucky colleague and rival Rand Paul, whose book “Taking a Stand” also fell flat. They’re the latest in a long line of politicians whose books are sales failures, amounting to little more than self-indulgent acts aided by a ghostwriter. But it gives politicians something to talk about on TV! [The Atlantic]


$266 million

Estimated value of a deal in which Chinese e-commerce juggernaut Alibaba will buy the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s leading English-language newspaper. [Bloomberg]


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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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