Big Data Climate Challenge 2014

Big Data Climate Challenge 2014 1

USING BIG DATA TO MAKE THE CASE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION

 
UN Global Pulse and the Secretary General’s Climate Change Support Team hosted the Big Data Climate Challenge to bring forward data-driven evidence of the economic dimensions of climate change. The Big Data Climate Challenge is an initiative of the Secretary-General’s 2014 Climate Summit at UN Headquarters in New York.
 

THE UN SECRETARY-GENERAL’S CLIMATE SUMMIT

There is a need for fresh evidence that strengthens the economic case for action on climate change to show where such action is feasible, affordable and effective. The 2014 Climate Summit represented a turning point from climate change awareness to action. Therefore the Big Data Climate Challenge called upon the international academic, scientific, technology and policy communities to highlight data-driven evidence to drive climate action.
 
The Big Data Climate Challenge sourced projects from around the world that use Big Data and analytics to address real world impacts of climate change. The aim of this initiative is help build public understanding of how Big Data can reveal critical insights for strengthening resilience and mitigating emissions.
 

RESEARCH TEAMS AROUND THE WORLD INVITED TO SUBMIT PROJECTS

Multidisciplinary initiatives from all relevant fields were invited apply to the Big Data Climate Challenge in 2014. This includes but is not limited to: energy, smart cities, transportation, natural resource management, agriculture and food systems, ecology, complex systems, green data centers, recycling, material sciences, climate risk management, disaster risk reduction and resilience, architecture and design, behavioral science, climate finance, and economic drivers such as carbon markets and subsidies. We welcome any climate-related project.
 

SEEKING DATA-DRIVEN CLIMATE SOLUTIONS

Launched by UN Global Pulse in May 2014, the Big Data Climate Challenge called for recently implemented or published projects and initiatives that use Big Data and analytics to show the economic implications of climate impact and opportunities to manage climate risks.
 

RESULTS OF CHALLENGE

There were submissions from over 40 countries, and 20 topic areas. The winners of the Big Data Climate Challenge were announced in September 2014:
 

Big Data Climate Challenge Winners:

  • Global Forest Watch (GFW) is a dynamic forest monitoring system from the World Resources Institute and partners: GFW empowers people to manage forests by combining satellite imaging, open data and crowdsourcing for open access to timely information about forests by governments, companies, NGOs and the public.
  • Climate-smart, site-specific agriculture decision-making tool for Colombian rice farmers by the Site-Specific Agriculture Big Data Team at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT): Using harvest monitoring data with climate data and seasonal forecasts, farming recommendations for rice growers are generated as a first step toward a system to support decision-making for farmers.
 

“Projects to Watch”:

Researchers from the two winning teams, CIAT and Global Forest Watch, were flown to the United Nations Climate Summit in September 2014, with top projects presented during the Climate Summit in September 2014. Read more about how the winners demonstrated innovative ways big data can drive climate action in this blog post.
 
The Big Data Climate Challenge benefited from the expert assistance and advice of an Advisory Board and Technical Committee who provided ad-hoc support and evaluated submissions. 

Advisory Board Members

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AMY LUERS
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Amy Luers is the Director of Climate at the Skoll Global Threats Fund.

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GUNSO KIM
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Dr. Gunso Kim is Assistant Mayor for Information Technology and CIO of Seoul Metropolitan City.

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CARLO RATTI
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Carlo Ratti is the Director of MIT Senseable City Lab and Partner at Carlo Ratti Associati.

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ANTHONY NYONG
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Dr. Anthony Nyong is the Manager of the Compliance and Safeguards Division at the African Development Bank. 

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JAYARAMAN SRINIVASAN
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J. Srinivasan is the Chairman of Divecha Centre for Climate Change at Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.

Technical Committee

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RALF BECKER
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Ralf has been working with the United Nations for more than 20 years.

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RICHARD CHOULARTON
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Richard Choularton is the Chief of WFP’s Climate Resilience for Food Security Unit. 

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HUBERT GIJZEN
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Prof. Hubert Gijzen holds a PhD in Environmental Biotechnology. 

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KOKO WARNER
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Dr Koko Warner is the Head of the Environmental Migration, Social Vulnerability and Adaptation Section at United Nations University ...

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DANIEL SCHENSUL
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Daniel Schensul focuses on population and development, climate change, urbanization and data analysis and ...

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TRACY RACZEK
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Tracy Raczek is a climate policy advisor in the UN Secretary General’s Climate Change Support Team. 

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DAVID WRATHALL
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David J. Wrathall PhD is an associate academic officer at United Nations University - Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS). 

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ELENA MANAENKOVA
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Elena Manaenkova has been Assistant Secretary-General of WMO since 18 June 2010.

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