President Barack Obama wipes sweat from his face as he delivers remarks on climate change and new environmental standards, on the campus of Georgetown University on June 25, 2013 in Washington, D.C. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo
The effects of climate change aren't necessarily obvious to the average American -- after all, global temperatures have only risen roughly one degree Celsius over the last century.
But scientists continue to press upon the seriousness of global warming and its potential consequences.
That's why Google and Microsoft have signed on to help the White House build its climate change visualization website. The two tech conglomerates will offer teams of experts, as well as their mighty computing power, that will help populate the site with visual analysis of raw data sourced from raw federal agencies like NASA, the Defense Department and the U.S. Geological Survey.
“Google will donate one petabyte -- that’s 1,000 terabytes -- of cloud storage for climate data, as well as 50 million hours of high-performance computing with the Google Earth Engine platform," the White House said in a press release.
The government website takes a cue from the communications strategy that says: in order to get people to care about a problem, the problem needs to be personalized.
The site, which the White House launched yesterday, is aimed at helping people better understand the impacts of climate change -- offering science-based maps, graphs, and other visualizations about the effects of climate change on a user's city, town, or backyard.
Now, Americans can see with their own eyes what the consequences of rising sea levels, flooding, heat waves, drought, or polar vortexes might look like in 10, 20, 50 years.