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One year ago today, Ceres and its Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP) coalition launched the Climate Declaration, a nonpartisan statement from the business community that “tackling climate change is one of America’s greatest economic opportunities of the 21st Century.” Microsoft is a proud signatory of the Climate Declaration, and we strongly agree that innovation has an essential role to play in responding to the threat of climate change.
How do computers fit into ecology? According to Drew Purves, senior scientist with Microsoft Research, they can actually play a pretty interesting role in modeling life on earth. “[Humans are] doing so many things to the natural world. We need to understand at a deeper level what we do to the natural world and where the natural world might go in the future, and what we can do about it to create a more sustainable future.” Check out the video below to hear Drew’s thoughts on the computational ecology work that Microsoft Research is doing.
While it can be difficult to accurately predict the weather, you can predict and address the impacts of climate change by looking at past and present observational data. As computing power grows exponentially, Big Data is becoming an increasingly important tool for helping scientists predict the long-term impacts of climate change, such as the likelihood of extreme rainfall events. That’s why, in response to President Barack Obama’s Climate Data Initiative announced last summer, Microsoft Research is launching a special Climate Data award program to offer scientists and decision-makers 12 months of free Windows Azure cloud-computing resources. The grants from this program will go to 40 awardees, with each award providing up to 180,000 hours of cloud computing time and 20 terabytes of cloud storage.
Beginning next week, our This Week in Sustainability posts will move to our Facebook page, where we will feature weekly posts highlighting some of our favorite articles looking at the intersection of technology and sustainability. We hope you will continue to follow these posts on Facebook! In the meantime, read on to learn more about how new developments in nanotechnology may revolutionize the battery and how a federal warehouse was turned into a super-green smart building.