The initiative to make the information more accessible to communities, researchers and industries trying to adapt to global warming is the latest move by the White House to deliver on a pledge that President
In the administration’s most high-profile effort, the
The initiative also includes projects being launched in the private sector to provide the data about climate change through apps, "cloud" computing and Web tools.
“By taking the enormous data sets regularly collected by NASA, NOAA, and other agencies and applying the ingenuity, creativity, and expertise of technologists and entrepreneurs, the Climate Data Initiative 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,”
Over the last few weeks, the White House has rolled out climate change initiatives at a rapid clip. In February, the administration created so-called climate hubs under the Agriculture Department to connect farmers and ranchers with universities, industry groups and federal agencies to help prepare for disasters worsened by climate change, such as wildfires, pests, flooding and drought.
Obama has also directed the Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department to develop a new generation of tougher fuel economy standards for heavy-duty long-haul trucks. The draft rules are due by March 2015 and the final version a year later.
The president also plans to ask
NOAA, NASA and other federal agencies provide detailed regular reports about long-term climate trends. NOAA routinely distributes short-term seasonal reports for the country that focus on the outlook for extreme weather events. The Climate Data Initiative aims to host the information in one place where it could be used to create long-term outlooks for towns or regions about the potential effects of climate change, such as the estimates for sea level rises that could affect coastal construction.
The White House also announced more than a dozen private sector initiatives that would try to build tools and create new ways to disseminate the data.
The nonprofit Climate Central, which reports on climate change, will offer a free Web tool that would provide "local projections, maps, and assessments of exposure to sea level rise and coastal flooding tabulated for every coastal ZIP Code, municipality, county, and state in the U.S." The assessments would "cover more than 100 demographic, economic, infrastructure and environmental variables using data drawn mainly from federal sources."