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Cartograms showing forest depletions, greenhouse emmisions and total red list species

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A cartogram is a statistical way of presenting data on a map. On a cartogram the geometry and areas of the map are not preserved but the shape and positions are maintained.[1] In this exercise, I generated the continuous and discontinuous cartograms for total greenhouse gas emissions, the total forest depletion and the total red data list species.

Global warming is the increase in near surface temperatures.[2] This is caused by the increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere which traps the heat in the atmosphere. Massive industralisation in both the developed and less developed countries has fueled global warming. [2] I wanted to come up with a graphical representation which shows the total emission of greenhouse gases by each country.

Forest destruction is one of the major contributor in habitat fragmentation and the absence of vegetation can be an indicator of massive habitat loss.[5] Some causes of forest depletion are logging, farming or urbanization. The world has suffered the destruction of its vegetation due to infrastructure development and bad farming methods such as the cocaine farming and shifting cultivation in Colombia. So I wanted to look at the countries that has suffered major losses of their forests.

I also wanted to rank which countries had the highest number of species that are listed in the International Conservation Union (IUCN)’s Red Data List. The purpose of the IUCN red data list was to catalogue the endangered species as well as to highlight those that are facing extinction[3]. The species in the Red data list are categorised as Extinct, Extinct in the Wild, Critically endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable, Lower Risk/conservation dependent, Near Threatened, Data Deficient,Least Concern.[3] So in this assignment I used the total of all the IUCN Red data listed species.

cartograms map 1

Figure 1: The continuous cartogram showing the total forest depletions that was derived from the World Mapper. The cartogram was generated using Frank Hardisty‘s Java Script and it was displayed using ESRI ArcView 3.2. The sequence of the colours is as follow: red, orange, yellow, green-gold and green which is the order of the degree of depletion. From the map the United States has suffered from the highest forest destruction with the Africa being the safest continent.

cartograms map 2

Figure 2: The discountinuous cartogram showing the total forest depletion that was derived from the World Mapper. The map was generated using ESRI’s Arcview 3.2 using the Cartogram Extension that was developed by William Huber. The sequence of the colour as follow: red, orange, yellow, green-gold and green which is the order of the degree of depletion. From the map the United States has suffered from the highest forest destruction followed by Japan and then some countries in Europe (United Kingdom France, Germany and Italy).

cartogram 3

Figure 3 above shows that United States is the major contributor of greenhouses gas in the earth’s atmosphere. This cartogram was developing using the Frank Hardisty‘s Java Script and the ESRI’s Arc View 3.2 and the data was derived from the World Mapper. The sequence of the colour representation with the order of the highest to the lowest is as follow: red, orange, yellow, green-gold and green.

cartogram 4

Figure 4, Is a discontinuous cartogram which shows that United States is the major contributor of greenhouses gas in the earth’s atmosphere. This cartogram was developing using the ESRI’s Arc View 3.2 and an ArcScript extension that was developed in using Avenue by William Huber. The data that was used was downloaded from for www.worldmapper.com. The colour sequence on the map: red, orange, yellow, green-gold and green. Red shows the countries which is emitting the most greenhouses and green shows the least.

cartogram 5

Figure 5: A continuous cartogram which is portraying the totals of all the IUCN REDLIST species derived from the IUCN REDLIST data. This cartogram was developing using the ESRI’s Arc View 3.2 and an Java Script that was developed Frank Hardisty. The colour sequence on the map: red, orange, yellow, green-gold and green. Red shows the countries which has the highest total of the Red Data Listed species and green shows the least. South America where the Tropical Andes biodiversity hot spot is located has many countries with the highest RED listed species data. The other counties like Democratic Republic of Congo, United States, Mongolia and Indonesia also have the highest amount of the RED Listed species.

cartogram 6

Figure 6 is a discontinuous cartograms which shows the totals of all the IUCN REDLIST species. This cartogram was developing using the ESRI’s Arc View 3.2 and an Arc Script extension that was developed in Avenue by William Huber. The data that were used were derived from the IUCN REDLIST. The colour sequence on the map: red, orange, yellow, green-gold and green. Red shows the countries which is emitting has the highest total of the REDLIST species and green shows the least. From the excel data South Africa is said to have 1677 animal species that are listed in the Red Data List. 1406 plant and animal species[4] that are listed are from the Cape Floristic Region RED listed species with 29 being extinct and some going towards extinction. A third of the Cape Floristic Region’s natural habitat has been fragmented due to urban growth, agriculture and plantation farming.[4]

The continuous cartograms looked far much better than the discontinuous, maybe this can be attributed to the different scripts that I used to develop them. As mentioned the continuo and the discontinuous were generated using two different scripts a java and an avenue respectively. The discontinuous looks congested than the continuous. For example all the discontinuous cartograms are not quite clear in small countries like in Europe. The continuous cartogram is the right candidate for this kind of analysis but since the shape is not preserved it will be difficult for some readers who are not well conversant with map to read and understand it. To replace the discontinuous cartograms I should have used the choropleth maps which are thematic maps

References


[1] Wikipedia contributors. Cartogram [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; 2007 Jul 20, 13:03 UTC [cited 2007 Jul 22]. Available from: http://www.answers.com/cartograms&r=67 or  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartogram

[2]Wikipedia contributors. Cartogram [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; 2007 Jul 22, 00:40 UTC [cited 2007 Jul 22]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming#Greenhouse_gases_in_the_atmosphere

[3]IUCN 2006, The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, [Intenet] [Cited: 22 July 2007] Available from: http://www.iucnredlist.org/info/introduction

[4]Conservation International Ecosystem Profile: Cape Floristic Region,[Internet] 2001 December 11 [Accessed 22 July 2007] Available from: http://www.cepf.net/xp/cepf/where_we_work/cape_floristic/full_strategy.xml

[5]Wikipedia contributors. Habitat_fragmentation [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; 2007 Jul 22, 17:03 UTC [cited 2007 Jul 22]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habitat_fragmentation.

Copyright 2007-2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource. nondumiso. (2007, September 11). Cartograms showing forest depletions, greenhouse emmisions and total red list species. Retrieved November 01, 2014, from UWC Free Courseware Web site: http://freecourseware.uwc.ac.za/freecourseware/biodiversity-conservation-biology/conservation-biology/cartograms-showing-forest-depletions-greenhouse-emmisions-and-total-red-list-species. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License : Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0. Creative Commons License : Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0