MMS • Steef-Jan Wiggers
At the recent Sustainability Summit, Google launched several new sustainability offerings to help public sector agencies and researchers to improve climate resilience. These offerings are Climate Insights for natural resources and Climate Insights for infrastructure.
With these data-driven insights, public sector agencies and researchers can improve their response time to climate disasters, make more accurate predictions, and implement disaster-response plans with greater confidence.
Climate Insights takes advantage of the scale and power of the recently updated new version of the Google Earth Engine (GEE) on Google Cloud, combining artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities with geospatial analysis via Google BigQuery and Vertex AI. According to the company, climate researchers can access a multi-petabyte catalog of satellite imagery and geospatial datasets with planetary-scale analysis capabilities through GEE.
More specifically, the Climate Insights for natural resources relies on Google Earth Engine’s data catalog of more than 900 open datasets spanning 40 years and leverages the expertise of Climate Engine to provide departments and agencies with an efficient way to ingest, process, and deliver pre-built Earth observation insights via API into decision-making contexts. Rebecca Moore, director, Google Earth, Earth Engine & Outreach, explains in a blog post:
With one of the largest publicly available data catalogs and a global data archive that goes back 50 years and updates every 15 minutes, it’s possible to detect trends and understand correlations between human activities and environmental impact. This technology is already beginning to bring greater transparency and traceability to commodity supply chains, supporting climate resilience and allowing for more sustainable management of natural resources such as forests and water.
The other offering, Climate Insights for infrastructure, is the result of a collaboration between Google and CARTO. It is a unified solution built upon Google BigQuery, Google Earth Engine, Google Maps, and CARTO. Moreover, the solution can, for instance, provide policy-makers unified access to their agency infrastructure data, earth observation insights, weather information, and other relevant spatial datasets from the CARTO Data Observatory.
With better access to climate insights and spatial risk models, Departments of Transportation can effectively plan for potential hazards to road networks resulting from erosion, extreme heat, flooding, fire, drought, and severe precipitation.
Lastly, the offerings are part of the overall strategy of Google to support its cloud customers by operating the cleanest cloud in the industry and helping them to decarbonize their digital applications and infrastructure. The company itself strives to operate on 24/7 carbon-free energy at all their campuses, cloud regions, and offices worldwide by 2030.