iSeeChange tracker image

A new app helps you make connections between NASA satellite data and global warming in your backyard.

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Drapkin: “NASA satellites are routinely assessing the state and health of our planet and systems but they’re doing that from very, very far away. And it’s really hard to understand the meaning of that big picture data in our daily lives.”

That’s Julia Kumari Drapkin, co-creator of the iSeeChange app. A community weather and climate journal, it allows you to upload photos and observations such as the date trees leaf out, or a local flood.

The app helps connect these events to things you cannot see, like global warming pollution.

Drapkin: “For every story and every photograph, if you click on the satellite icon you can see a visualization of atmospheric carbon. You can also see temperature change over time – year-to-year as well as what the daily weather was.”

The information goes both ways. While the satellite data helps you track changes, your observations give scientists on-the-ground data that’s hard-to-get.

Drapkin: “Community source observations from earth’s surface, particularly environmental anomalies, can be really useful.”

By connecting what’s seen from space to what’s seen on the ground, the app contributes to climate science while helping citizens better understand global warming.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Image graphic: Created by David McCarthy.

Editor’s Note: iSeeChange is a content-sharing partner with Yale Climate Connections.

Sara Peach

Sara Peach is the Senior Editor of Yale Climate Connections. She is an environmental journalist whose work has appeared in National Geographic, Scientific American, Environmental Health News, Grist, and...