A team at the University of Southampton have won third place in the World Bank’s ‘Apps for Climate’ competition with a website that opens up the world of climate change and how it relates to the individual.
The Globe-Town website provides information on the environment, society and economy of countries so that users can understand the challenges and opportunities they face in a changing world. They website also enables you to explore the connections between countries through relationships such as trade, migration or air travel.
The application gives an insight into how climate risks can be transmitted between countries, for instance the impact of the 2011 Thai floods on the Japanese economy. You can also learn about shared responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions through the things we import, or opportunities to act to mitigate and to adapt, such as investing in renewable energy projects abroad.
The application was conceived by web and sustainability researcher Jack Townsend (@JackTownsend_) and developed with a team including four other PhD students from the University’s Web Science Doctoral Training Centre. Jack says: “The World Health Organisation has estimated that climate change is killing 150,000 people a year. In order to tackle this challenge, we all need to know how it affects us personally and what we can do about it. Globe-Town does this by connecting the global with the local, so we can explore the risks, responsibilities and opportunities of climate change in an increasingly interconnected world.”
It’s an interesting website – take a look. I should just mention the other winners in the World Bank competition, though:
1st Place: Ecofacts - teaches users about energy consumption and climate change, by showing how individual actions can translate into large-scale changes at the national level.
2nd Place: My Climate Plan - allows users to create their own hypothetical national plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The program currently focuses on Norway, but could be adapted for other countries.
I am, of course, biased, but I prefer Globe-Town.