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COP21 of the U.N. Framework Convention Form Agreement on Climate Change Action

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

In December 2015, an historic agreement was reached among 195 nations in Paris at the the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) to combat climate change and work towards a low carbon, resilient future, calling to keep global average temperature increase well below 2 degrees C, and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.6 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Ed Mazria presenting the China Accord at the UNFCCC COP21 Buildings Day

Ed Mazria presenting the China Accord at the UNFCCC COP21 Buildings Day

According the CEO and founder of Architecture 2030, Edward Mazria, who attended the conference, “it was incredible. For the first time governments came together to agree on a long term goal committed to keep global average temperature increase ‘well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.’ What that means is we have to essentially end the fossil fuel era. We have to phase out all fossil fuel CO2 emissions by about 2050 and total emission by 2060-2080. We need to phase out CO2 emissions from power and industrial sectors by about 2050. There’s some leeway on each side of that depending upon the science and then during our total agreements emissions 2080.”
The agreement also aims to strengthen the ability to deal with the impacts of climate change, such as shorelines, melting polar ice, and health hazards, to name a few.

“The Paris Agreement allows each delegation and group of countries to go back home with their heads held high,” said Laurent Fabius, president of COP21 UN Climate Change Conference and French Foreign Minister.

French President Francois Hollande told the assembled delegates: “You’ve done it, reached an ambitious agreement, a binding agreement, a universal agreement. Never will I be able to express more gratitude to a conference. You can be proud to stand before your children and grandchildren.”
According to a conference press release, the agreement commits all countries to “aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible . . . and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter.” It includes 188 national government submissions – Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) – containing the actions each country intends to take to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Mazria says that these initial INDCs submit to the UNFCC, what they are going to do to lower their emissions and reduce GHG. Given their particular circumstances. In the agreement, they have all agreed to a review every five years and to increase their targets and the reduction targets. The current U.S. INDC pledge is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025.
“Right now if you add up all the INDCs it doesn’t limit the global temperatures by 2 degrees. The idea was to start out with the first INDCs commitment pledge and then to review those pledges every five years and increase the reductions,” says Mazria. “It’s now verified reductions and its all made public. There will be a lot of pressure on the countries to not only meet their commitments but increase their obligations in time.”

The most important thing this agreement does is 1) it lays out publicly what each country is going to do and 2) it sends a message to the markets that this is where the world is headed, Mazria points out. This will shape how building and developing take place and also what kind of power will be used if all emissions must be phased out by the middle of the second half of the century, CO2 emissions by about 2050.

 Chen Zhen, Secretary General of CEDAAB (left) and Leon Qiu, Vice Secretary General of CEDAAB and Principal at DLR Group


Chen Zhen, Secretary General of CEDAAB (left) and Leon Qiu, Vice Secretary General of CEDAAB and Principal at DLR Group

Both developed and developing nations signed on. China has huge problems with pollution and a huge energy demand as a result of their fast infrastructure growth.

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Avenza’s PDF Maps and Affiliate Program for Digital Natives

Friday, January 15th, 2016

In a world that is rapidly becoming less paper based and more dependent upon digital products, the introduction of a map app that copies the model of iTunes and Kindle is an appealing commodity. Avenza’s PDF Maps does just this: makes PDF maps downloadable on mobile devices to be available anywhere – while abroad, in remote areas and in the back country.

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

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GISCafe’s 2016 Trends Report

Friday, January 8th, 2016

Top trends that we can expect to see dominating the geospatial landscape in 2016 are trends driven in large part by world events and climate change. Technologies play a large part in how well we will be able to manage climate change and attendant disasters, world events that include terrorism, and disease.

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GISCafe Insights from Autodesk University 2015

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

Autodesk CEO Carl Bass opened the mainstage presentation of Autodesk University 2015 in Las Vegas at the beginning of December by talking about how companies are “reframing” the way they think about their work. “Sometimes we have to reframe our view toward entire industries,” he said. Access to data was a big topic at the conference, as the building industry also has to grapple with the management of huge datasets, as does the geospatial industry.

Apple building in Cupertino

Apple building in Cupertino

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Contribute Ideas to our Trends/Predictions Article for 2016!

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Hello Readers!

For-You-Happy-Holiday- (more…)

Online GIS Education – The Next Generation

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

Many changes have taken place in Online GIS and geospatial course offerings over the past year, since we first covered the topic on GISCafe. The range of topics has increased to include even courses for high schoolers, and the ever popular drone classes and Geodesign. The popularity of “Massive Open Online Courses” or MOOCs allows colleges and universities to teach thousands of students at one time, at their convenience, rather than at a prescribed day and time.

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Technology Shrinks Geography

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Author Robert D. Kaplan Author of “The Revenge of Geography” Senior Fellow, CNAS spoke recently on the topic of technology and geography.

“Technology has not negated geography, but has shrunk geography,” stated Kaplan, “it has made it claustrophobic. The fights over packets of ground are more intense than before. Each part of world interlocks with the other.”

He chose to talk about the Middle East, then about Asia Pacific, then Europe.

Middle_East_geographic (more…)

Update on Ebola, Epidemiology, and Geo-intelligence

Monday, August 24th, 2015

RADM Scott Giberson, Assistant US Surgeon General Commander, Commisioned Corp Ebola Response, moderated the panel discussion entitled “GEOINT and Epidemiology : The Role of Geospatial Intelligence in Health Crisis Analysis and Mission” at GEOINT 2015.

IMG_3350 (more…)

AccuWeather Addresses the Storms of our Century

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

“The business of weather is a storm of data driven change,” said Dr. Joel Myers, founder, president and chairman of AccuWeather in his keynote address entitled “Transformational Change Driven by Big Data” at the Esri User Conference 2015 held in San Diego. Myers added that, “We are reinventing ourselves over and over, to become the world’s most trusted source of weather information.”

Accuweather Portal

AccuWeather Portal

Weather information has definitely morphed over recent years, with maps that can be customized to the user’s requirements. With weather that has become increasingly unpredictable in the world, the challenge to provide up to the minute accurate coverage of weather patterns has also increased.

Tile data from AccuWeather allows users to see an accurate representation of the weather and “manage their business processes via the weather,” said Myers.

This certainly does seem to be the case for big weather events. Myers said that the key criteria for weather are the following: what was it and what will it be, how severe and how will it be presented, when will it happen? Where?

accuweather portal2

Weather today is the original Big Data, according to Myers, and has helped drive increases in data power.

In the 1940s, thousands of pieces of data were collected and plotted onto maps called weather maps. They were analyzed by meteorologists to create forecasts, including how terrain, water and land boundaries impacted the movement of weather patterns. Weather forecasters were among the first to use big data collected in real time. In 1960 the first accurate weather prediction was made 24 hours ahead of the weather event.

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From the Exhibit Floor: Esri User Conference 2015

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

A look at what is being demonstrated on the Exhibit Floor is a great way to see what is trending in the geospatial industry. Location, navigation, GIS positioning, sensors, geospatial intelligence, UAS, 3D, emergency response are just a few of the areas covered in the vast offerings seen throughout the week.

TomTom_GOLIVE (more…)

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