Obama Expands Climate Data Initiative To Improve Public Health

April 8, 2015 in News

On Tuesday, President Obama launched an initiative that aims to better understand how climate change affects public health, the Washington Post reports.

In a speech, Obama said that climate change can leads to more asthma attacks because of an increase in wildfires that emit soot into the air and could increase insect-borne diseases.

Initiative Details

As part of the initiative, the Obama administration expanding its Climate Data Initiative to include more than 150 health-related data sets (Eilperin, Washington Post, 4/7).

According to Bloomberg, 12 technology companies, including Google and Microsoft, have plans to use the data to help medical researchers combat infectious diseases and identify outbreaks (Sink, Bloomberg, 4/7).

For example, Microsoft plans to develop a prototype for drones that can collect a large sample of mosquitoes and digitally analyze their genes and pathogens. The Microsoft project aims to create a system that would offer early warnings about infectious disease outbreaks that could result from climate change.

In addition, Google has said it will donate 10 million hours of advanced computing time on tools, such as risk maps to help scientists thwart the spread of disease and early warnings for events like wildfires and oil flares. The company also will use its camera cars to measure methane emissions and natural gas leaks in certain cities this year (McCain/Nelson, Wall Street Journal, 4/7).

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Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Ihealthbeat/~3/ZQCgv3gBswM/obama-expands-climate-data-initiative-to-improve-public-health

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