NOAA Releases a Redesigned Climate.gov Website
NOAA’s Climate Program Office today launched a newly redesigned version of Climate.gov, NOAA’s award-winning, flagship website that provides the public with clear, timely, and science-based information about climate. The redesign expands the site’s already significant capacity to connect Americans with the resources they need to understand and plan for climate-related risks.
Climate.gov offers magazine-style articles about climate science and describes how climate conditions are changing with maps, graphics, features, and videos, as well as classroom-ready teaching resources matched to grade levels and science learning standards. The site’s redesigned Global Climate Dashboard gives a data-driven readout on the state of the climate system with public-friendly explainers and answers to frequently asked questions. The site provides access to commonly requested climate data and tools hosted by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information and Regional Climate Centers. Climate.gov’s Climate Data Primer provides a guide for users who are new to climate data.
Originally launched in 2010, the redesigned site addresses the needs and interests of the science-interested public, researchers, educators, and other target audiences based on feedback received during listening sessions.
The redesign uses an artificial intelligence platform to advance Climate.gov’s search tool, allowing queries based on location so that users can find city and state-specific maps and data, ensuring climate information is accessible and relevant to all audiences. The new Climate.gov also uses the artificial intelligence platform to better integrate and cross-link content to highlight all available resources sitewide that are relevant to each visitor’s unique interests. In addition, users will now find a better mobile experience on tablets and smartphones.
The team has improved user experience and accessibility on the new site by utilizing the federal standards established through 508c and the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0). Pages were designed with accessibility in mind and images and videos support improved alternate tags and transcripts. All colors and fonts were selected from the guidelines established by the Government Services Administration’s U.S. Web Design System to ensure all content is friendly for vision-impaired users or those with color blindness.
Climate.gov is also a valuable source for educators. University professors, for example, assign Climate.gov’s popular blog on the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate pattern—a collaboration between Climate.gov and experts from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center—as required reading for their courses on climate variability and seasonal forecasting.
Climate.gov also sponsors and syndicates the award winning Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) teaching guides and collection of climate and energy educational resources—including learning activities, visualizations, videos, as well as short demonstrations and experiments—geared toward educators of students in primary through undergraduate levels.
Direct to Climate.gov
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.