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Obama Creates Climate Tool With Google, Others

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A U.S. Geological Survey map from showing Coastal Vulnerability to Sea-Level Rise.

The White House has announced its Climate Data Initiative and the Web site, which will provide centralized access to climate change data.

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

The White House has announced its Climate Data Initiative, through which it will partner with more than a dozen major technology firms, universities, and private groups to create tools that will help communities adapt to climate change.

A new Web site,, will provide central access to climate change data, with previously unreleased information mapping hundreds of thousands of U.S. bridges, roads, railroad tunnels, canals, and river gauges.

"It's going to be a huge asset in preparing communities for climate change," says John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology.

Google says it will use the data to create what it says is the first terrain map of Earth to show the impact of climate-related changes. Google's Rebecca Moore says the map will enable people to prepare for climate extremes "as easily as they use Google maps to get driving directions."

Microsoft says it will donate 800 terabytes of cloud storage to 40 climate-change research projects, and it will offer customized versions of its free Fetch Climate tool to communities.

Intel plans to host three climate-change hackathons this year that will challenge students to use federal data to create new apps and tools.

From USA Today
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