Combating Climate Change with the Cloud

In 2013, Google published its Deforestation Alert System – the first ever high-resolution map documenting the health of the world’s forests. The map, created by the massive amount of data and tools made available through the Google Earth Engine, encouraged other climate researchers, NGOs, companies, and governments to study and combat the effects of climate change. 

Today, the high-tech cloud computing data used by the Google Earth Engine to analyze publicly available satellite images to protect critical ecosystems in over 160 countries. Here in the United States, Google has partnered with the Department of Agriculture to analyze and protect over 300 million acres of farmland, and major companies like Unilever have committed to creating cleaner supply chains using the technology. 

But Google isn’t the only major American tech company using its products and services for good. Amazon Web Services provides its digital technologies to enable public and private actors to share, analyze, and act on troves of data to protect the environment. These high-quality data sets have been used to forecast climate disasters like forest fires, assess land degradation, and find effective ways to restore damaged ecosystems here in the United States and around the world. Additionally, NGOs and universities have used Amazon’s cloud computing technology to find smarter ways to build efficient cities that limit the impact of climate change. 

As climate change continues to pose a threat, it’s important that we continue to work towards solutions to protect our planet – and it’s clear American tech companies are committed to finding high-tech answers to big problems.