Magazine article Newsweek

Twelve Numbers: The Highs and Lows of 2015; A Dozen Numbers That Help Describe the Year That's Quickly Coming to an End

Magazine article Newsweek

Twelve Numbers: The Highs and Lows of 2015; A Dozen Numbers That Help Describe the Year That's Quickly Coming to an End

Article excerpt

Byline: Stav Ziv and Jack Moore

There's no truly definitive way to measure a year. Newsweek has already reflected on 2015 through a look back at the year in books, words, albums, beefs, fast food, its most awful innovations, the best streaming binges and the year's "worst writing." Dictionaries have chosen words (or non-words) of the year based on lookup data; music streaming platforms have crowned their most popular artists, songs, and albums; the search giant Google announced its "Year in Search"; and Twitter even counted mentions of Hamilton and other Broadway shows.

In another hit musical that swept Broadway two decades ago, the show's cast posed the question in song. "Five-hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes/How do you measure, measure a year?" sang the cast of Rent in "Seasons of Love." "In daylights, in sunsets/In midnights, in cups of coffee."

Newsweek has taken a stab at quantifying the year, not in minutes or midnights--and not via song--but in asylum seekers, degrees Fahrenheit, mass shootings and more. We've selected a dozen numbers that help describe the year that's quickly coming to an end.

61.86: Average global temperature, in Fahrenheit, in July, the hottest month ever on record. At Paris climate conference, the world committed to limiting any additional rise to below 3.6 degrees (2 degrees Celsius) above pre-industrial levels.

2,411: People killed in the hajj crush in September, according to the Associated Press, more than three times the official Saudi estimate. …

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