Big cloud names, White House launch climate impact planning tool

| September 22, 2016

A new initiative launched by the White House, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and the World Resources Institute has unveiled the Partnership for Resilience and Preparedness to help corporations make long-term plans to cope with climate change.

The initiative will tapped into big data analytics in an open-source platform to give interested parties access to climate data to develop solutions, resources, platforms that can help the world plan for potential impacts from extreme climate events, reported Environmental Leader.

“PREP will help companies manage the physical risks of climate change by providing easy access to location-specific data that can be integrated into planning, operational, and investment decisions,” said Janet Ranganathan, VP for science and research at WRI. “For instance, utilities will be able to access data on how droughts or sea level rise could impact planned power plant locations while manufacturers could assess the risks from more frequent and extensive flooding on their operations.”

The initiative will also partner with a large ecosystems consisting with commercial and public agencies, including White House Office of Science Technology and Policy NASA, NOAA, the US Global Change Research Program, the US Department of the Interior, Amazon Web Services, CARTO, Descartes Labs, Earth Knowledge, Esri, Forum One, Google Cloud Platform, Google Earth Engine and Vizzuality, as well as Earth Science Information Partners, Future Earth, Group on Earth Observations, IBM and Microsoft.
“Decision-makers today are facing increasingly complex challenges related to climate change,” said Rob Bernard, chief environmental strategist of Microsoft. “By making critical data both more accessible and rapidly available, we can accelerate the development of tools, such as PREP, that harness that data to empower communities to make smarter decisions.”
At its core, PREP will bring together disparate data sources to provide a dynamic, predictive, technology agnostic, platform based on the latest available climate data.
“Companies can use the data and resources already on the site,” Ranganathan added. “Over time we will add new data sets and functionality, including the ability to create personalized dashboards of climate risks. We will pilot the customized dashboard feature with a variety of users, including business. Given the work of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) we envision growing business demand for the type of data and resources provided on the PREP platform.”
According to the organisations, there is some urgency to the platform as the project frequency of extreme weather events such as major storms, floods and droughts are expected to increase 50% over the next 12 years.
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Category: Cloud computing, Data centres, Green corporations, Smart cities

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