Thursday, June 7, 2012

"The World Daily" - cool new iPhone app for tracking climate impacts

Kirk Klausmeyer, my friend and fellow climate change researcher over at the San Francisco office of the Nature Conservancy -- author of this cool 2009 map showing drought and heat stress for California under climate change -- has just come out with the World Daily for the iPhone, the first app to display near real-time satellite images of any location on the planet ($1.99, not yet available for Android).

Kirk writes of the app:
[Its] images are from MODIS and are medium-resolution so you can see cities, landforms, weather patterns, wildfires, and snow cover, but not smaller things like houses.  ... It is a great way to watch the effects of climate change in real time. You can monitor hurricanes, typhoons, super cells... The app also has an option to view non-visible light bands to track changes in wildfires, even through thick smoke.  The [app's] facebook page has a time series album that shows the progression of the New Mexico wildfire in the Gila National Forest.  There is also another sensor on the satellites that show snow and ice, so you can track shrink[ing] glaciers all over the world.  Keep an eye on Greenland and be the first to report the loss of the ice shelf!  So while this may not help with adaptation, you can at least monitor climate change in the comfort and safety of your own home.  
Comfort and safety, unless of course you live somewhere like the Gila National Forest or Greenland, I suppose...

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