Google is shedding some light on the effects climate change is having on the environment by allowing the public to see the impact for themselves using Street View.
The company is highlighting three changing ecosystems to explore as world leaders gather as the COP21 conference in Paris to discuss climate change kicks off this week.
Polar Bears International, the world's leading polar bear conservation organization, used the Street View Trekker camera (which is used to map areas that are inaccessible by car) to map the animals in their natural habitat around Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. The organization has also developed a lesson plan for schools so that students can learn more about the changing area that is home to the polar bear, while we all can see how much global warming is affecting the area as a polar bear can be seen waiting for ice to freeze.
We can also see how plants are affected by climate change by using Street View to explore the threatened blue oak trees in Central California. The trees have been in decline because of changing temperatures, so scientists at the Nature Conservancy-California used Google Street View to capture the blue oaks to keep a digital record to continue to log their changes and come up with conservation strategies.
Google's Trekker camera was also used by the Brazilian nonprofit Amazonas Sustainable Foundation to educate the public about rain forest protection. The nonprofit mapped isolated parts of the Amazon forest and river tributaries to show the public what this area looks like now so they can visually see how important it is to protect the ecosystem.
Google said in a blog post that it is using its Street View platform to measure climate date so that policymakers will be able to make better decisions.
As part of Google Earth Outreach project, Street View cars equipped with methane analyzers have mapped methane leaks from natural gas lines in U.S. cities. PSE&G announced it will use Street View mapping data to upgrade leaky gas lines as part of its new multimillion-dollar pipeline replacement program.
Google plans to use Street View cars to create an environmental sensing platform in 2016 by measuring pollutants like carbon dioxide in California communities in the San Francisco Bay Area, Central Valley and Los Angeles.
The 2015 Paris Climate Conference in Paris, the biggest U.N. climate conference of the decade, kicked off on Monday and will conclude on Dec. 11.
Source: Google Lat Long