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The United Nations has just launched an information system to improve the exchange of weather, climate and water data. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Information System simplifies the international exchange of this information, while reducing costs, and exploiting the latest communications technologies. This service is expected to aid disaster risk reduction, water management, food security, […]


More Shrubbery Expected in Warming World

by Matt Ball on December 9, 2011

Researchers looking at Landsat imagery over a 20-year period in Northern Quebec have shown an increase in shrubs and grasses with a warming world. The detailed study is one of the first to show detailed views of the impact of warming on plant distribution and density in northern areas of North America. Much of the […]

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NASA successfully launched the NPOESS  (National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System) Preparatory Project (NPP) satellite early this morning from Vandenberg Air Force. The polar-orbiting satellite is a joint project between NASA and NOAA, with NASA using it as a research project and NOAA collecting weather details for forecasting and environmental monitoring. The satellite features five […]


NSF Begins Large Study on Sustainable Cities

by Matt Ball on October 12, 2011

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $750,000 grant to a consortium of 20 U.S. universities, two national labs and three international partners for the new Sustainable Cities – People, Infrastructures and the Energy-Climate-Water Nexus project. The grant seeks to develop harmonized methods, open datasets and shared curriculum on the topic of sustainable cities […]


Climate Corp. is the new name of a company started by two former Google employees that have been applying big data analysis to climate data since 2006. The company first focused on weather, compiling all the freely available data from the U.S. Weather Service, and selling the insight to businesses dependent on weather forecasts as […]


GIS Helps Create ClimateWise Communities

by Matt Ball on September 1, 2011

The GEOS Institute, based in Ashland, Oregon, has developed tools and methodology to help communities respond and adapt to the pressures of climate change. Yesterday, I attended a presentation at the GIS in the Rockies by Jessica Leonard, geospatial analyst at the institute, and learned more about their approach and their projects. Leonard stated at […]


This map just released by the NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory illustrates the 2,755 daytime and 6,171 nighttime heat records broken across the United States in July of 2011.  Each heat record point reveals a map that almost reveals the complete outline of the contiguous United States, showing how widespread the high heat was across the […]


Researchers from MIT, the University of Maryland, and the Santa Fe Institute have come up with a new model that predicts the maximum tree height in different environments across the United States. The model has inputs on temperature, precipitation, humidity and solar radiation, and uses these measurements to compute how tall a tree is likely […]


Visualizing ‘Slow Violence’

by Matt Ball on June 30, 2011

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a thought-provoking piece by Rob Nixon about the need, and the difficulty, of visualizing and communicating the impacts of slowly evolving crises. He outlines the challenge of conveying the impacts of climate change, deforestation, oil spills, ocean acidification and a host of other slowly evolving issues of global impact […]


New Online Map Documents Climate Change Impacts

by Matt Ball on June 22, 2011

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) launched an online mapping site today that documents and tracks the impacts of climate change. The Climate Hot Map contains details of five subject areas: people (public health, food supplies and the economy), lakes and rivers, the oceans, ecosystems and temperatures. The site allows users to zoom into areas […]