White House Launches New Climate Data Website

hurricanes, East coast winds, storms
(Image credit: NASA via Wikimedia Commons http://bit.ly/1k9ezeK)

The White House launched a new effort Wednesday (March 19) to make climate data more accessible to the public. Known as the Climate Data Initiative, the endeavor will bring together on one website all federal climate data, such as flood maps, hurricane tracks and predictions of future sea level rise. The goal is to centralize the data and make it easier to access. Even though the information is all free and publically accessible now, it is stored on a multitude of websites that may require bulky software for downloads.

The initiative also includes design competitions to help illustrate how Americans are vulnerable to climate change. For example, at NASA's third annual International Space Apps Challenge in April, the agency will include a new challenge focused on coastal flooding, NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan said at the Climate Data Initiative launch yesterday. The challenge encourages entrepreneurs, technologists and developers to create visualizations that will help people understand their vulnerability to coastal flooding and inundation.

Read more: Climate Data Initiative

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Becky Oskin
Contributing Writer
Becky Oskin covers Earth science, climate change and space, as well as general science topics. Becky was a science reporter at Live Science and The Pasadena Star-News; she has freelanced for New Scientist and the American Institute of Physics. She earned a master's degree in geology from Caltech, a bachelor's degree from Washington State University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz.