White House Develops Web App to Highlight the Impact of Climate Change

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The White House is all set to introduce a web-based application that will show Americans how climate change will impact their own backyards. The goal is to make people see the immediate threat of global warming. The app at climate.data.gov would be a potential tool to allow individuals, business owners and local governments to type in an address – as they do on Google Earth – to see how the projected rise in sea levels might increase the chance that their own house will be flooded in the coming years.

The website will initially serve primarily as a clearinghouse for climate science data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United States Geological Survey, the Defense Department and NASA. The first batch of data will take a look at coastal flooding and the rise in sea levels. NASA and the NOAA will ask researchers and private companies to develop software simulations illustrating the impact of sea level rise.

Robert M. Pestronk, executive director of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, said he hoped that the new climate data tools would help municipal officials plan for climate change. The health effects of climate change – from reduced air quality to extreme weather to climate-sensitive infectious diseases – need to be tackled with better preparation.

Prof. Chris Field, the director of the department of global ecology at Stanford University, recently said that the essence of dealing with climate is more about managing risk than about identifying specific impacts at a specific point of time in the future. He pointed out that higher emission levels could result in greater warming in the coming decades, and thus higher sea levels, but lower pollution levels could lead to different results.

With the new climate website and app, the White House aims to provide the climate change debate the sense of urgency that it deserves. According to a Pew poll conducted in October 2013, two-thirds of Americans believe that global warming is occurring. However, another Pew poll conducted in January 2014 revealed that Americans prioritized global warming at No. 19 on a list of 20 issues for Congress and the president.

Source: New York Times

Image Credit: Flickr via Paul Graham Morris