Deale, Maryland – The International Environmental Data Rescue Organization (IEDRO), a US-based, 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization whose volunteers rescue and digitize historic weather observations throughout the world, was recently profiled by the USA Today and the Baltimore Sun. The articles highlight IEDRO and its sister organizations’ work in saving and digitizing old weather data to allow scientists worldwide to better understand the climate today and to predict the climate of tomorrow.
Doyle Rice in USA Today addresses IEDRO’s work in developing countries and notes the human benefits to digitizing historic weather data: “IEDRO’s collection of historical weather data will be used by computer forecast models to improve flood and mudslide warning capabilities [in El Salvador].”
“Volunteers around World Putting Old Weather Data Online: Moldering Records Being Digitized in Maryland,” a longer piece by Frank Roylance in the Baltimore Sun, discusses IEDRO’s founding and the process of data rescue. Mr. Roylance’s article details how an experience in Bangladesh inspired the head of IEDRO, Rick Crouthamel, to found the organization, and how better weather data “could help farmers become better-prepared for bad weather, or anticipate where weather conditions will cause outbreaks of water- and insect-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever or cholera.”
The Baltimore Sun article was also picked up by the Chicago Tribune in its January 3, 2011 edition.
To read the original stories, which feature great information on data rescue in general, please find the articles linked below:
“Old Ship Logs Fill in Weather History of Past 250 Years” by Doyle Rice, USA Today. November, 26, 2010: http://www.usatoday.com/weather/forecast/2010-11-26-oldweather26_ST_N.htm?csp=34news
“Volunteers Around World Putting Old Weather Data Online: Moldering Records Being Digitized in Maryland” by Frank Roylance, Baltimore Sun, January 3, 2011: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/weather/bs-md-weather-data-rescue-20110103,0,2632995.story?page=1
The efforts of IEDRO are supported and endorsed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization and other international groups concerned with the preservation and digitization of valuable weather data.
Only with accurate information about the past can we make the necessary preparations for the future. With historic weather data we can conduct climate change and global warming research, forecast the spread of disease and improve flood forecasting. Rescuing historic environmental data can do more to prevent human suffering and death than any other endeavor in the 21st century.