Climate change brings about new challenges related to our health, economy, personal safety, and global sustainability. These dangers are exacerbated in Houston with rising sea levels and the busiest port in the United States. Houston also presents a unique opportunity to come together as a multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural community to solve these issues, in coordination with major science and technology centers. With better and easier access to climate information, citizens will be able to prepare, plan and manage climate variability and make better health and safety-related decisions, while working in tandem with established government and private institutions.

There are various existing databases containing useful information that can be used by citizens to better cope with climate change, but this information needs to be made more accessible and presented in a user-friendly way. Citizens need not only awareness, but clear action steps to participate in solutions.

The impacts of climate change on daily lives will depend on many factors, including examples such as the effectiveness of a city’s public health and safety systems to address or prepare for risk, taking into account the behavior, age, gender, and economic status of individuals affected. Impacts will vary by location, the sensitivity of populations, the extent and length of exposure to climate change impacts, and Houston's ability to adapt to change.

Although the impacts of climate change have the potential to affect people in the United States and around the world, there is a lot we can do to prepare for and adapt to these changes. We are taking the challenge to develop ways to turn available data into useful and accessible information for citizens; to help them better adapt to and manage climate variability. Agencies like National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) and United States Geological Survey (USGS) have developed world-class science data to support scientific research in climate change. Using data provided NASA, NOAA, USGS and other government agencies and non-government organizations, we aim to develop technology and visualizations that combine different climate-related datasets.

Areas that are particularly relevant to Houston may include:

+Storm surge/coastal flooding: Solutions to predict, protect and restore coastlines, natural spaces and animal habitats due to flooding

+Drought prediction and management: Use of data around trees dying in local cities, geological data, precipitation/reservoir data and water data from PWE

+CO2 emission reduction: Measure C02 emission reduction consistently to allow for an apples to apples comparison across cities

+Extreme weather: Respond to flooding, tropical storms, wildfires and extreme sudden weather events

+Efficiency: Build technology to help citizens and organizations better understand smart meter data

Relevant Information:

Intro to Human Health Impacts: Health Impacts of Climate Change on Americans:…/the_health_impacts_of_climate_… EPA Impacts of Climate Adaptation:…/impacts-adaptation/health.html Eyes on Earth - Track Earth's vital signs and fly along with NASA's Earth-observing satellites. See natural hazards from space, view near real-time science data and keep an Eye on our planet's health with this stunning 3D visualization.

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