The Obama administration announced a new effort Wednesday to improve climate change preparedness around the country.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA will operate a new website, called Climate.Data.gov. The platform will aim to make government data more available to entrepreneurs who can stimulate innovation in combating climate change, the White House said in a blog post. Online tools, such as maps of future sea levels and coastal flooding, will assist builders in identifying potential threats when breaking ground.
Additionally, NOAA and NASA will launch a "challenge" to encourage entrepreneurs and developers to create data-driven simulations that help people understand their exposure to coastal vulnerabilities.
"Even as we work to curb greenhouse-gas emissions and expand renewable energy generation, we need to take steps to make our communities more resilient to the climate-change impacts we can't avoid -- some of which are already well underway," wrote John Podesta and John Holdren, both White House advisers.
President Obama released his Climate Action Plan last June to cut carbon pollution, ready communities for the impacts of climate change, and lead international efforts to address global warming. He also committed to developing new fuel efficiency standards and to reducing reliance on foreign oil, ambitious proposals that don't require action from Congress.
Obama pledged last year during his second inaugural address that America would respond to the growing threat of climate change for the sake of its children and future generations.
The president recently requested two government agencies develop a plan to increase fuel efficiency for heavy-duty trucks, a key component of his Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon emissions.
Democrats and environmental advocates have applauded the president's action on the issue, and remain hopeful the White House's plans continue climate change talks on Capitol Hill. Secretary of State John Kerry recently described climate change as a present danger, and "the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction."