How Big Data Can Help Fight Climate Change in LA

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map2-638x502by Angela Guess

Kiley Kroh of Think Progress reports, “New maps released Tuesday illustrate the toll climate change and pollution are taking on several communities in Los Angeles, many of the same areas that also hold the greatest potential for clean energy investment. The Los Angeles Solar and Efficiency Report (LASER) is the result of a partnership between the Environmental Defense Fund and UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation. The groups say their work is a prime example of how big data can be used to engage citizens in the challenges and opportunities associated with climate change right in their own neighborhoods.”

Kroh continues, “While climate change will drive up temperatures in Los Angeles, a particular concern for at-risk communities already burdened by pollution, the analysis found major potential for solar and energy efficiency projects. Realizing just ten percent of the city’s untapped rooftop solar potential, for instance, would create 47,000 solar installation jobs and could reduce carbon pollution by nearly 2.5 million tons annually — the equivalent of taking more than half a million cars off the road every year.Rising greenhouse gas emissions will raise temperatures across the country and the Los Angeles area is poised to get a lot hotter in the coming years. Using an analysis done by UCLA climate expert Alex Hall, the first map shows L.A. area temperatures, projected to rise by an average of 4-5° Fahrenheit by mid-century. The number of extreme heat days — above 95° Fahrenheit — are set to triple in the urban core and downtown and quadruple in the valleys and areas of higher elevation.”

Read more here.

photo credit: LASER

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