Science

Google's Street View Highlights Effects Of Climate Change

By Jan David Perianes , Dec 01, 2015 08:35 PM EST
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Climate change has its adverse effects on every living organism on the planet. Plants, animals, communities, trees and individuals feel its impact, and it keeps on getting worse every day. World leaders have already gathered for the COP21 conference that was held in Paris this week in order to discuss the harsh changes in climate, and Google took this opportunity to show everyone how to see the damages that it has caused. With Google's Street View, users will be able to see some of the world's changing ecosystems and see how organizations and other non-profits work to keep Earth healthy.

Polar bears in the Canadian Arctic are in peril because of the melting sea ice. As such, Polar Bears International has borrowed the Street View Trekker in order to map polar bears in their already fragile ice habitat in Churchill, Manitoba. This way, the PBI would be able to share the status of the polar bears' remote habitat with people in a global scale. Furthermore, PBI also created a lesson plan for teachers so that they can have an exploration activity with the students.

Plants are also part of the equation, and scientists at the Nature Coservancy-California have also borrowed Google's Street View Trekker this year to monitor the status of blue oak trees (Quercus douglasii) in Central California. As of late, the blue oak trees in the area have begun declining due to the stress of changing temperatures. According to scientists, the blue oaks may lose up to 41 percent of its population by 2100 due to climate change. Hence, Street View will be a way to capture its beauty and have a digital record of it, and in the process log their changes and design conversion strategies in order to protect the life of the trees.

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