Extreme heat is a problem we can’t tackle alone. Google.org is supporting nonprofit projects that identify which communities are most affected by extreme heat and where there are opportunities to help.
Last year, we announced a $30 million Google.org Impact Challenge — an open call for nonprofits to submit big ideas for climate action. Today, we’re announcing the first recipient: World Resources Institute (WRI). WRI will receive $5 million to support its project which will use sensors, satellite imagery and AI to close data gaps, model air temperature, humidity, surface reflectivity, tree cover and heat vulnerability. Alongside Google’s efforts, WRI’s project will help decision-makers understand where to implement cool surface infrastructure — such as trees and reflective surfaces — to reduce the impact of extreme heat.
To support work happening at the local level, Google.org is funding work from the national organization, American Forests, to expand its suite of free urban forestry tools for cities to use to help address disparities in tree coverage. Similarly, we’re funding work from Resilient Cities Catalyst through the ICLEI USA Action Fund to create an AI-driven heat-energy vulnerability index that will help cities — starting with Pittsburgh, PA — make equitable decisions about green infrastructure investments. Both organizations will use Google’s Tree Canopy tool for their work.
Together, these efforts will help people and communities around the world adapt to rising temperatures. We’ll continue to find new ways our technology and tools can bring relevant and timely information about extreme weather to billions of people, and can help cities and organizations build infrastructure that mitigates the effects of a changing climate for everyone.