April 22, 2011
GERMANTOWN, Md., April 22, 2011 -- In honor of Earth Day 2011, Earth Networks, the provider of WeatherBug® products and services and operator of the largest weather observing and lightning network, is showcasing technological advancements that offer green intelligence and environmental solutions in the areas of climate monitoring, energy efficiency and agricultural operations.
For nearly 20 years, Earth Networks established its business on monitoring and forecasting live, local weather. Building on its network of thousands of WeatherBug Weather Stations and more than 350 sensors in the WeatherBug Total Lightning NetworkTM throughout the world, Earth Networks is expanding its focus to develop and deploy the largest global environmental sensor network – beginning with the first privately funded initiative to monitor greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Earth Networks is harnessing the power of environmental intelligence and technology to bring about innovations in climate monitoring and industry efficiencies. Highlights of these programs include the following:
* Monitoring and Quantification of Regional Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Data from instruments deployed by Earth Networks are derived using a top-down approach, making it possible to quantify and map regional emissions with uptakes and their changes over time. Also applied to the methodology is inverse modeling, a technique that involves coupling greenhouse gas measurements with computer models to quantify emission and uptake processes on a localized basis. This combined approach provides a far more accurate picture of gases emitted and their flow through weather currents, enabling the understanding of the global distribution, circulation and sequestration of carbon (“sinks”) based on measurements of actual accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
* Greenhouse Gas Modeling and Reporting: As monitoring stations are deployed, Earth Networks is making carbon models available on its website, www.earthnetworks.com. These models, currently available for La Jolla, Calif., and Cambridge, Md., provide an unprecedented look into how greenhouse gases “flow” through a given region. Looking ahead, consumers will be using computers and mobile devices to access detailed information for their own regions and to find out the carbon weather forecast. In addition, carbon footprint reports will be produced at a scale never before possible – for example, a report for a state the size of Kansas.
* A Network of Environmental Sensors: Earth Networks currently monitors weather, lightning – and now greenhouse gases – in the atmosphere. With the idea that more measurement is essential for better science, Earth Networks will establish and integrate additional networks to address the rapidly growing need for other types of environmental data. Networks for monitoring pollution, water quality and wind forecasts will become part of a “network of networks” that will provide more comprehensive insight into the overall health of the planet and measurements from this network will serve as a baseline for future comparisons.
* Environmental Data Helps Food Harvest: With local weather information and groundbreaking solutions for predicting periods of extreme heat or cold weather weeks in advance, future farmers will become better equipped to manage and treat their crops based on new high-tech modeling techniques that include detailed weather data. Already, Earth Networks is working with the Canadian Wheat Board to provide information to help prairie farmers manage the emergence of pests such as fusarium head blight and wheat midge, and to monitor crop growth stages and assess freeze severity.
* Energy Intelligence and Conservation: Smart Grid Solutions from Earth Networks utilize real-time, local weather intelligence that help utilities manage outages, improve work crew safety, facilitate load shifting, provide energy efficiency, and reduce peak demand with minimal impact to customers. Today, EcoResponseTM from Earth Networks provides major utilities with precise weather information to pinpoint locations that will demand higher energy loads or are threatened by severe damage due to incoming storms. In homes, EcoConnectTM from Earth Networks is a cloud application that combines high-resolution, localized weather information from the WeatherBug Network with data from wireless thermostats to determine the thermal profile of residential homes. Using a resource portal, customers gain insight into their energy use and can make better decisions for improving their energy efficiency. This interactive system, currently in trial with select customers, incorporates weather information for intelligent home energy automation and reduced heating and cooling energy consumption.
In related news, Earth Networks is being honored as a 10 Big Ideas Winner by GigaOM for the launch of its environmental networks initiative and is presenting at the third annual Green:Net 2011 event on April 21 in San Francisco. According to GigaOM, the 10 Big Ideas companies are some of the world’s most innovative businesses that are using information technology — from software to the web to computing to mobile networks — to fight climate change. Each of the selected companies sparks the imagination, has the potential to be a game changer, and is using IT in a novel way that will lead to energy efficiency, the proliferation of clean power, or greener transportation.
“From its early beginnings nearly 20 years ago, Earth Networks has sought to provide detailed, local weather observations for a variety of applications across many industries,” said Earth Networks Chief Technology Officer Christopher Sloop. “Now, as part of our mission to ‘Take the Pulse of the Planet,’ the company is expanding its focus to include additional environmental measurements, beginning with the first-ever privately funded greenhouse gas monitoring network. As we focus on this new initiative, we are also extremely pleased to be developing new solutions and approaches that enable a variety of industries, to combine environmental data, weather information and technology in innovative ways to solve challenges in the world today.”
About Earth Networks
Founded in 1993 as AWS Convergence Technologies, Earth Networks operates the largest weather observation and lightning networks in the world and is establishing a global environmental data network on an unprecedented scale. Earth Networks owns and operates the WeatherBug brand, which precisely monitors, organizes and distributes global weather information. The WeatherBug consumer brand (http://www.weatherbug.com) reaches millions as a trusted source for live, local weather information, while the WeatherBug professional brand (http://www.weatherbugprofessional.com) serves a variety of markets that include federal, state and local governments, education, agriculture, energy and utilities, sports and recreation, media and transportation. Each day, consumers and organizations, including the National Weather Service, turn to WeatherBug to plan daily activities, safeguard lives and improve business operations. Earth Networks is based in Germantown, Maryland and is online at www.earthnetworks.com.
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