"WASHINGTON — President Obama wants Americans to see how climate change will remake their own backyards — and to make it as easy as opening a web-based app.
As part of its effort to make the public see global warming as a tangible, immediate and urgent problem, the White House on Wednesday will inaugurate a website aimed at turning scientific data about projected droughts and wildfires and the rise in sea levels into eye-catching digital presentations that can be mapped using an app.
Mr. Obama’s counselor, John D. Podesta, who has been charged with creating a strategy to build political support for Mr. Obama’s climate change agenda, and the White House science adviser, John P. Holdren, came up with the idea. In theory, the app, at climate.data.gov, would be a powerful tool, allowing local governments or home and business owners to type in an address — as they do on sites like Google Earth — to quickly see how the projected rise in sea levels might increase the chance that their house will be flooded in the coming years. But in practice, until climate science and mapping applications can live up to the site’s ambitions, it will remain very much in its testing phase."