Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Google and the Met Office

Well, only two days ago I reported that Microsoft and The European Environment Agency (EEA) had joined forces to launch a European environmental information portal based on Microsoft's Virtual Earth. Now we hear that Google has joined up with the UK's Meteorological Office to look into the future and provide an online view of the impact of climate change over the next 100 years.

Based on Google Earth, it will overlay climate change forecasts from the Met Office and information on polar ice caps from the British Antarctic Survey to produce predictions of local and regional impact of a 'medium' greenhouse gas emissions scenario. Basically its an animated demonstrating of the impact of global temperature changes. A very good idea, since we need to educate and inform as much as possible.

It's particularly interesting because we often talk about the impact of climate change in terms of global temperature rises, but these hide significant local and regional differences and the impact they will have.

Clearly we will be seeing increasingly sophisticated and detailed representations of the impact of climate change in the years to come and it's obviously an area where IT will be essential. Undoubtedly such systems will become a reference point for, if not actually tied in to, risk management scenarios and potentially shorter term predictions will be plugged into manufacturing planning, supply chain management and logistics systems of large corporations.

© The Green IT Review

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