Innovation That Matters

The ISeeChange app alerts users to abnormal weather conditions | Photo source iSeeChange

An app provides personal climate change alerts


The new project tracks abnormal weather events to keep climate change in the public consciousness

Spotted: Although extreme weather events are frequently in the news, it can be very difficult for this to cut through. In fact, there is some evidence that news of extreme weather is already becoming normalised – with many people growing less concerned as they are exposed to regular reports of abnormal temperatures or conditions. To help avoid this, non-profit ISeeChange has developed a feature that alerts users when weather in their area is abnormal. 

The app was inspired by the traditional weather journals of farmers and ranchers, who in the ages before the internet would make detailed records of each season’s conditions to help them spot long-term trends. However, ISeeChange hopes to go further than this, by creating communities that will share and discuss climate impacts and solutions. To this end, the app allows users to document and share weather and climate impacts in their local area.

The project is, in essence, a socially networked almanac that includes engagement and data software to track climate, validates models, and crowd-source data and dialogue. ISeeChenge believes that by helping people to understand when the temperatures or weather events they are experiencing are unusual, communities will be encouraged to examine their natural, built, and social environments.  

“Normalising extreme weather in two to eight years, when we have less than ten years to avoid permanent impacts, is the equivalent of humanity being a frog in a boiling pot,” explains ISeeChange CEO, Julia Kumari Drapkin, adding, “Pointing to the changes we’re seeing is the first step to making the changes we want to see happen.”

 ISeeChange is the most recent in a wave of community-oriented apps and projects. Others we have recently covered here include a “Litter Lotto” app that incentivises people to pick up rubbish and a tree planting app that harnesses the power of collective action. 

Written By: Lisa Magloff



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