Posted by Openness Team

This week more one billion people in 192 countries are taking action to advocate for the planet – cleaning up cities, planting trees, educating communities, and much more. Yesterday, the Official Microsoft Blog celebrated these global environmental sustainability efforts, including projects underway across Microsoft to use technology to address environmental challenges and attain a clean energy future.

 One noteworthy project, FetchClimate, is helping scientists and non-scientists alike better understand the world around them.

FetchClimate makes locating environmental information as easy as searching for a hotel or coffee shop online. Just draw a box around the geographic area you’re interested in, select the environmental information you want, and view the data on Bing Maps within seconds.

What used to take researchers hours, days, or even weeks can now be done at the speed of thought – by anyone. FetchClimate runs in the Microsoft Azure cloud, meaning there is no physical limit on how much information can be added. You can view historical environmental data, as well as look into the future, including forecast data from the latest climate simulation experiments.

For more, check out the Microsoft Research Connections Blog or the Openness interview we did with Drew Purves, head of the Computational Ecology and Environmental Science Group at Microsoft Research Cambridge, talking about how it's very fast and easy with FetchClimate to “get useful environmental information in a very open way.”