• Blockchain is being used by the African Weather Balloon Project to track the climate in West Africa

  • According to one study, nearly 91 percent of natural disaster deaths recorded between 1970 and 2019 occurred in developing countries. According to the study, the high number of fatalities is largely due to a lack of early warning systems and disaster management protocols.

    Climate Data Can Be Stored Using Blockchain

    It has been demonstrated that technological advancements can help to reduce the number of lives lost as a result of flooding or cyclones. Unfortunately for third-world countries, their lack of access to centralized data used to predict weather patterns means that the number of lives lost as a result of natural disasters remains unacceptably high.

    This sad state of affairs prompted the Kanda Weather Ballon project and the Telos protocol’s creators to seek an unusual solution to the problem — the use of blockchain. Already, this project is said to be empowering African university students to use the Telos blockchain to provide a viable solution to West Africa’s lack of real-time and historical climate data by constructing an entirely community-owned balloon network.

    Telos uptime and storage costs are kept to a minimum.

    Supporters of the Kanda Weather Balloon project believe that gathering data in this manner will allow communities to better prepare for and recover from severe weather. As a result, we reached out to Nicolas Lopez to learn more about this balloon project and how the blockchain makes this type of data collection cost-effective. Lopez is Kanda’s current chief engineer and a former Boeing software engineer.

    The following are Lopez’s email responses to questions.

    ULT(ULTCOIN365): Could you please explain briefly why weather tracking is important?

    Nicolas Lopez (NL): Upper air observations using in-situ sensors are critical because there is currently very little data in this area. Weather satellites are excellent at measuring values close to the ground but struggle in the middle of the atmosphere. Most weather models require data from up to 35,000 feet to make accurate predictions about rainfall and even climate.

    We’ve seen cases where a single weather balloon launched from Douala, Cameroon, changes the initial model state by 5+ degrees Celsius 100 miles away over southeast Nigeria. Models rely on false data assumptions and perform very poorly over West Africa without this data. We are collaborating with the weather company Climacell.org to demonstrate how a small number of launch stations can have a significant impact on the accuracy of rainfall forecasts.

    ULT: How does this work, and why is Telos involved?

    NL: We store the data from our launches on the Telos blockchain. Because of NOAA funding constraints and the use of out-of-date data repositories, most weather data is already difficult to obtain. We use blockchain because it is completely reliable and has low storage costs for small amounts of data. Furthermore, the Telos smart contract enables us to send digital currency “mining” rewards to the balloon launcher in real-time.

    We call it “mining” because atmospheric pressure always decreases with elevation and is difficult for someone on the ground to fake… Bitcoin hashes, for example, cannot be forged. When the sensor detects lower pressure values, it determines that the balloon has been launched and sends Telos currency in response.

    ULT: Do you intend to expand this to other parts of the continent?

    NL: Telos has active communities in Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria, and these communities are expanding. Telos was recently listed on Kucoin, which is widely used in Nigeria as a gateway currency for Telos. Kanda is currently working with university students in Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon, but we want to expand to other parts of Africa, such as Kenya, due to the high rainfall near Lake Victoria. We believe we can also add significant value in this area.

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