A US state is leveraging digital technology to increase data collecting to combat global warming

Government and non-governmental initiatives use digital technologies to promote widespread community data collection on environmental consequences.

Digital technologies are increasingly used to engage the community and gather information about the effects of climate change. In the US state of Virginia, several initiatives have been undertaken for this purpose.

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation uses a compilation of different datasets, ConserveVirginia, to identify land that can best be conserved. Wetlands Watch has created an app that allows users to map flooded areas to document environmental changes over the years.

The non-profit organization, Appalachian Voices, also uses an app to monitor mine water data, as well as satellite or Google Earth Engine imagery to understand mine recovery and to verify the status of vegetation on surface mines. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation plans to create an app to provide data that will later be used to guide decisions about habitat creation for mussels. The Virginia Department of Health has an algal bloom map that allows the state to monitor and map blooms from population reports.

In addition to providing evidence for policymakers and researchers, these digital solutions also contribute to engaging the population in the fight against climate change.