How GIS is Used to Fight Climate Change

How GIS is Used to Fight Climate Change

As we all know, there is a movement from around the globe to make our planet a greener and more environmentally friendly place in which to live. Whether it is the recycling of used paper or disposing of waste items in the appropriate receptacles, it is a well-known scientific fact that the earth has finite resources, and we have to do everything we can to maximize them.

One area related to this is known as “climate change,” or “global warming.” We have all heard these terms before, but what do they mean, specifically? These terms can be defined as “. . . the rise in average surface temperatures on Earth.” (SOURCE: www.takepart.com/flashcards/what-is-climate-change). But, what exactly causes this? Recent scientific research has demonstrated that climate change is due, primarily, to the human use of fossil fuels, which release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the air.

In turn, these gases trap excessive amounts of heat into the atmosphere, and this can have a tremendous impact to the ecosystems here on earth. This includes rising seas and ocean levels, severe weather events, and droughts which make landscapes more susceptible to wildfires.

In an effort to further educate the public on climate change, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sought out the services of Dewberry, a GIS based firm. Under a two year contract, this business entity will examine climate changes in the Northeastern portion of the United States, and alert the EPA in case of any dramatic or extreme changes they find.

It should also be noted that the scope of the work to be carried out by Dewberry is far more extensive, in that it will also “ . . . [examine] risks to recreational and public water supplies, and pollution control aspects based on expected changes to known environmental stressors in the years 2050 and 2100.” (SOURCE: http://www.directionsmag.com/pressreleases/dewberry-performs-climate-change-vulnerability-analysis-for-the-u.s.-e/458385).

All of this work conducted by Dewberry will allow the EPA to correctly identify areas of environmental concern, and prioritize mitigation measures to help keep the Earth’s climate in balance.

GeoTel is a telecommunications research and GIS mapping firm that researches and provides telecom datasets for more than 5,500 cities in the United States and worldwide. GeoTel’s expertise includes specialists in economic geography, geospatial engineering, web GIS, and telecommunications GIS Data infrastructure.

Valerie Stephen
valeriestephen@geo-tel.com