Cal-Adapt — a new webportal for climate change research

Mapping Data

Cal-Adapt — Exploring California’s Climate Change Research.     A new website was launched today that raises the bar for visualizing and making both state-wide and local mapping possible for a variety of climate and climate parameters. Funded by the California Energy Commission (CEC), it highlights a lot of climate research products by many similarly funded or collaboratively funded climate researchers around the state.

The site and its database was developed by the Geospatial Innovation Facility (GIF) at UC Berkeley, and is both beautiful and nimble to behold. There are interactive maps where you can visualize both spatially and graphically the data and trends for climate like temperature and precipitation as well as snow pack, runoff, sealevel change and wildfire risk from 1950 through two future scenarios to 2090. Much of the raster data can be downloaded in various resolutions– quite a convenience since many are buried in technical sites (one tiny quibble although maybe I am missing something, the resolution of the downloaded data could be better displayed since it’s not immediately apparent).

In addition there is a long list of publications compiled and fully cited with links that focus on climate change issues for the state of California (although many are relevant to other regions as well). A tab for Community promises to be interesting as it has a section on Ask a Climate Expert and Historic Photo Hunt with Coming Soon! posts. The latter is something that promises to post Weislander’s landscape photos from the 1930’s for the public to try to “re-take”, an idea that the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology has been kicking around as we have a similar archive of landscape and habitat photos, of which a tiny fraction have been re-shot for the Grinnell Resurvey Project. I look forward to see their implementation of this citizen-science approach to enhance the VTM Project.

In fact the next few of my posts will be about citizen-science initiatives to harness people power for science…. coming up!

Google Earth Engine

Earth, Mapping Data

Google Earth Engine. Unveiled in Cancun, Mexico, at the International Climate Change Conference, Google announced its latest planetary visualizations. From Google’s blog: ” Google Earth Engine is a new technology platform that puts an unprecedented amount of satellite imagery and data—current and historical—online for the first time. It enables global-scale monitoring and measurement of changes in the earth’s environment. The platform will enable scientists to use our extensive computing infrastructure—the Google “cloud”—to analyze this imagery.”

You can browse through different layers in the Data Catalog tab then press Open in Workspace, an adjacent tab for a Google Maps interface. The Gallery tab embeds the 3D Google Earth to view and interact with Featured Data.

I was struck by the forest cover loss in the last decade in the Congo– the product of over 8000 Landsat images!

This is necessarily collaborative, to make accessible these kinds of data, the breadth of historic remote sensing data and products from remote sensing data, and more importantly invites collaboration across many disciplines. So I am looking forward to see what happens here. Congratulations to Rebecca Moore!