I found this website the other day and wonder if anyone else is interested in joining the organisation as a volunteer. If you click on the link, you will discover what it does and how you can become a volunteer. http://iedro.org/about.htm.
The International Environmental Data Rescue Organization (IEDRO) is an initiative to collect weather information from countries with plentiful and important historical weather data but need help to convert these data into usable digital format.
IEDRO received the 501 (c)(3) non-profit status from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on April 12, 2005. Now, just two years into the work of data rescue, we have been able to make headway in ten countries. They are Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal and Zambia in Africa; and Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Chile and Uruguay in the Americas.
IEDRO is at the forefront for environmental management. We actively search for historical weather data and convert these important data into digitized format for meaningful access by institutes and organizations that use them for the betterment of local and international societies.
Uses of historical data
Data rescue is important because historical weather information is needed for the understanding of past trends in weather changes to forecast and predict future weather.
The understanding of historical weather information by meteorologists and climatologists can result in trend analysis essential for effective agriculture, medicine, engineering and other applications.
If a country's weather service has sufficient historical weather data to forecast upcoming weather, it can provide more accurate information to its people on the onslaught of storms, floods and tidal waves so that people can move to safer grounds before disaster strikes.
In the area of agriculture, historical weather data can provide farmers with forecast weather information that will result in higher crop yield. Forecast weather information is essential because a good harvest can readily increase farmers' income and economic well-being. A crop destroyed from weather disasters will do more harm than just the loss of income for farmers. In poor developing countries that rely on domestic agriculture, destroyed crop will also mean starvation for their own people.
In the area of medicine, historical weather data can predict the onslaught of mosquito-spread diseases like malaria, yellow fever and the West Nile Virus. Equipped with such vital information, the health authorities of a country can implement steps to reduce mosquito infestation and implement other preventive measures.
In the area of engineering, historical weather data can equip the structural engineer with information that will be useful to determine the composition of building materials for the construction of roads, bridges and buildings. This in turn would ensure that infrastructure can withstand the test of severe weather.
In addition, historical weather data collected from all over earth provide our global climate computers with baseline information enabling scientists to better predict seasonal extremes. This will result in more accurate real-time forecasts and warnings. Ultimately, it will also aid in the achieving a better understanding of global change and the validation of global warming.
Truly the uses of historical weather data are countless.