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Significant Digits For Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019

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

2 degrees Celsius

The average temperature of New Jersey has climbed nearly 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) since 1895, double the average rise of the rest of the continental United States. That number — 2 degrees — “has emerged as a critical threshold for global warming” and indeed the signatories to the 2015 Paris accord agreed that urgent action was needed to keep warming “well below” that level. But along with New Jersey, an analysis of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration temperature data reveals that 71 counties have already crossed the 2-degree mark. [The Washington Post]

60 percent

Amid President Trump’s trade war, Americans’ views of China have become historically unfavorable. Sixty percent now say they have an unfavorable view of the country, up from 47 percent last year and the highest level recorded since Pew began asking in 2005 (when unfavorable views of China were 35 percent). [Pew Research Center]

0 percent

At the Iowa State Fair, they administer a decidedly nonscientific poll whereby fairgoers drop a corn kernel into a jar corresponding to their preferred presidential candidate. In this decidedly nonscientific poll, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio registered 0 percent. For whatever it’s worth, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg led the way with 24, 16 and 16 percent of the corn, respectively. [WHO TV]

8 home runs

Aristides “The Punisher” Aquino, the Cincinnati Reds’ 25-year-old rookie outfielder, has been doing little lately but hitting home runs. He hit eight of them in his first 12 games, a Major League Baseball record. All eight came in his past nine games (as of Tuesday afternoon), and he homered seven times in his past six games, tying the MLB record for rookies. [Deadspin]

700 million tweets

There have been 700 million tweets sent thus far this year related to video games, a 30 percent increase year-over-year. Recently, the increase prevalence of games on the social network has been driven by a backlash to the blame misplaced on games following mass shootings, and by big e-sports events such as the Fortnite World Cup and EVO 2019. [The Hollywood Reporter]

300 miles away

Following wildfires there last month, rare lightning has also recently struck the Arctic. Thunderstorms require air that’s, like, warm. Yet multiple lightning strikes were detected “within 300 miles of the North Pole,” according to the National Weather Service. “This is one of the furthest north lightning strikes in Alaska forecaster memory,” the NWS said. [USA Today]

From ABC News:

SigDigs: Aug. 14, 2019

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Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied game theory and political competition.