Photo Credit: Paul Carmona

From June 2019 to February 2020, Australia has faced fires with unprecedented timing and intensity. As of January 14, 2020, at least 27 million acres of land have been burned, causing an estimated 3–3.5 billion dollars in damages. As climate change has gained greater recognition in the media, many are wondering how much changing weather patterns are to blame.

In response to this speculation, however, there have been high rates of falsified information on the relationship between climate change and Australia’s fires circulating on the web. Fortunately, it’s Planet OS’s mission to make reputable weather data easily available. …


The year 2020 is freshly underway. Before we move further into the new decade, our team at Planet OS wanted to share with you our highlights for 2019.

Photo Credit: Ales Krivec

In the realms of climate and environment, 2019 was a remarkable and consequential year. Throughout the year, millions of people across the globe participated in climate strikes and mass protests. With BBC calling 2019 “The Year the World Woke up” and NOAA reporting 2019 as the second warmest year on record, the year marked a pivotal transition from environmental discussion and concern towards large scale environmental action.

Our team here at Planet…


Photo Credit: Joshua Sortino

The realms of industry and academia can often feel like separate worlds. On one hand, industry can offer the promise of rapid innovation, personable products, and eye-catching marketing techniques. Meanwhile, academia can provide thoughtful ideological development, thorough research, and groundbreaking discoverings. However, both of these realms, especially in the fields of climate and environment, have been steadily integrating available data towards finding cutting-edge scientific discoveries and innovations.

At Planet OS, we have large pools of accessible data and are currently developing strategies to transform this environmental and climate data source into tools for both industries and leading figures in academia…


Image of Hurricane Dorian. Taken by NASA Astronaut, Christina Koch aboard the International Space Station

On August 24, 2019, a tropical wave in the Central Atlantic developed into an extremely powerful, long-lived cyclone, Hurricane Dorian. Hurricane Dorian caused catastrophic damage to the northwestern Bahamas and caused significant destruction in the southeastern United States, and later Atlantic Canada. The hurricane left an estimated 70,000 people homeless and caused billions of dollars in material destruction.

Many felt powerless facing the tenacity and ferocity of Hurricane Dorian. In an age where Amazon or Uber Eats can offer a near-instant gratification of a need, those in evacuation zones in the United States wondered how we still currently lack the…


Last month, Planet OS and Berkeley Haas’ AMENA Center for Entrepreneurship and Development hosted a 2-day datathon that sought to leverage Planet OS’s Datahub to develop innovative solutions to the environmental challenges in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The event brought together more than 100 UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students, Planet OS data engineers, and mentors from across the Bay and we are very excited to showcase their projects.

In our previous blog, we covered our first place winners, Team 1, and their project to address water scarcity in Jordan with solar-powered water pumps and storage tanks…


Alluvial Fan in Iran. Photo Credit: USGS

Since March 19th, heavy rains and flash floods have inundated Iran. Over 1900 cities, towns, and villages across 25 provinces have been overrun by this historic downpour.

Yet this unfortunate start to the Persian New Year is not ending anytime soon. Media outlets predict more rain and more flooding. In response to these forecasts, tens of thousands of Iranians have been evacuated. Airlifts and emergency shelters will bear the brunt of the relief efforts. Hopefully, the preparations can help stem the tide against this once-in-a-century climate catastrophe.

The 2019 Iran floods strike the Planet OS Data Integration team as a…


Using data to take a closer look at how has the Arctic changed over the past 20 years and its corresponding impacts on industrial networks.

Photo Credit: Vidar Nordli-Mathisen

Amid dramatic ice melt in the Arctic, transportation networks, ecologies, and geographical boundaries have transformed. Just last year, shrinking ice in the north opened a new shipping route from Europe to East Asia.

A New Winter Passage

In the past few months, higher temperatures in the Arctic Circle unveiled a new avenue this winter: the Bering Strait. The narrow corridor between Alaska and Russian Siberia offers the only marine gateway between the icy Arctic and the Pacific Ocean. …


Photo Credit: Timothy Ah Koy

Every few years, NASA declares we are in the midst of an El Niño event. From describing 2016’s El Niño as “Godzilla” and now calling this year’s “El Dud”, the accompanying media coverage on the topic tends to sensationalize rather than explain this incredibly complex and fascinating climate pattern.

This week, the Planet OS Datahub team has illustrated the conditions that produce El Niño in order to incorporate the vast amounts of available information behind the current series of interconnected global weather events. …


In the areas that have been plagued by fires, does rain bring relief…or another recipe for disaster?

Photo Credit: Joanne Francis

Last year’s headlines were marred by stories of forest fires around the world. The 2018 California wildfires and Eastern Australia bushfires collectively devastated nearly four million acres. Yet, many will be surprised to know that while these fires have been contained and extinguished, the loss of life and property caused by these events has continued today.

The culprit?

Rain.

The conditions for forest fires — dry air, abundant tinder, and hot weather — often lead people to think that rain could be the…


As 2019 is underway, we have already broken weather records in both of the Earth’s hemispheres.

Photo Credit: Behzad Ghaffari

In the US Midwest, low-temperature records were broken thanks to a polar vortex from the Arctic. Chicago was especially affected, with officials warning residents of the risk of “instant frostbite” should they venture outside.

Simultaneously, Australia made headlines for its extreme weather this month. This time, for raging wildfires and scorching heat. Once again, Australia is experiencing one of its hottest summers on record. According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the six days from January 12th to 17th have all reached Australia’s top…

Chase Walz

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