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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

The Power of Data...Big Data

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Wednesday, March 19, 2014/Categories: sustainability, environment, climate change

With more data, analysis is more precise, and the greater ability you have to make informed decisions. The power of  "big data"  is finally being realized across many fields and now includes the ability of the public to review assumptions and predictions of changing climates now being observed by researchers everywhere.

NASA, NOAA, and other government data collecting agencies, in association with Google Earth. have launched a new online tool: Climate Data  that will "let citizens, businesses, and local governments take the latest scientific data and see how their communities will be affected by rising seas, heat waves, and drought." The data and predictive models are based on a vast array of climate and environmental information gathered by satellites, sensors, weather records, and other measurements to expose underlying trends and make reasoned predictions of future events.

As an illustration, maps can be generated comparing different scenarios of flooding from rising sea levels on locations like New York City allowing advanced planning for building resilient structures.

Sea Level Rise and Flooding Models for New York City  (credit: NOAA)

A perfect illustration of the power of big data is: Earth from Space  a recent NOVA special. The film is 2 hours long so perfect for a train, plane, or bus ride commute.

The new data initiative is a powerful tool being made publicly available and hopefully will counter miss-informed commentaries lacking facts or reason. Check it out and plug in some parameters from you own community and consider the potential outcomes.


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