The White House will launch a new online initiative on Wednesday that will provide users access to climate data to spread awareness about the effects of global warming in an effort to improve climate-change preparedness across the country.
As part of the initiative, the Obama administration will make federal data on climate change accessible to citizens, businesses and local governments in a new section within the data.gov website -- called climate.data.gov -- that will be jointly run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, and NASA.
The effort “will help create easy-to-use tools for regional planners, farmers, hospitals, and businesses across the country—and empower America’s communities to prepare themselves for the future,” John D. Podesta, an adviser to President Barack Obama’s administration, and John P. Holdren, the president's science adviser, wrote in a joint blog post. “Every citizen will be affected by climate change—and all of us must work together to make our communities stronger and more resilient to its impacts.”
In addition to making federal climate data accessible to the public, the initiative also includes launching a design competition to demonstrate the effects of coastal flooding and releasing federal maps to depict how the nation's infrastructure is vulnerable to climate change, The Washington Post reported.
“In this new and pilot-stage of Climate.Data.gov, you will find resources to help companies, communities, and citizens understand and prepare for the impacts of coastal flooding and sea level rise. Over time, this community will expand to include more datasets, web services, and tools; it will also cover other themes such as the vulnerability of the food supply and the threats to human health from climate change,” a post on the new website said.
According to the announcement, companies such as Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Esri also have joined hands with the government to create new mapping software, applications and other technological tools for use on the portal.
The website “will provide valuable data to guide and support local health departments in their efforts to ensure the health and safety of people in their communities,” Robert M. Pestronk, executive director of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, was quoted by The New York Times as saying.