Weather Predictive Analytics and Ensuring Safety of Sites of Social Conflict


I am very interested in what IBM is doing with its merger with the Weather Company.  They have formed a new company.  A really interested paper to me came from a friend on Twitter that looks at the intersection of English and Arabic language social media networks on the Internet.  I learned in my service work the past few years and the research that I have done on social media between by social network that spans across the West and the Middle East that trends across these networks often follow certain patterns that evolve according to ecological events.  The intersection of two central resources for modern human life, water and oil, are at the heart of many social conflicts today.  Having a Turkish father, I know first hand that much of what is going on in the Middle East today politically relates to how these two resources are shared across human population groups.  After reading Naomi Klein’s book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate and viewing the film The Native and The Refugee, along with my deep understanding of the intersection of Western and Middle Eastern culture from my studies of the history of global religious conflicts I understand that is it is vital for the health of the global economy to carefully monitor and predicatively model sites of conflict around these two essential resources.  Indigenous people, particularly Native Americans near oil pipelines such as the Dakota Access Pipeline, and Middle Eastern people both share a common bond in that they are living in lands where oil is being mined and transported around important water sources.  Great violence has the potential to erupt at sites where there is political dispute over how these resources are shared.  Having just gotten back from the Dakota Access Pipeline actions, and seen first hand the intense anger in the people at the sites of protest I believe that it is more important than ever to greatly expand the distribution of predictive analytics tools to allow groups to make informed decisions about how the ecology of the earth will affect lands.  Any group, be it a business, a tribe, a government, or a community can make better decisions about how to care for people with the kinds of weather predictive analytics tools that are being developed by companies like IBM in its acquisition of The Weather Company.  The singular paper in my mind right now from the science literature that describes how important these tools are to humanity is the paper I have written about and posted to this blog before.

This post I wrote was confirmed this week in Nature (article).


“Growing evidence demonstrates that climatic conditions can have a profound impact on the functioning of modern human societies 1,2, but effects on economic activity appear inconsistent. Fundamental productive elements of modern economies, such as workers and crops, exhibit highly non-linear responses to local temperature even in wealthy countries3,4. In contrast, aggregate macroeconomic productivity of entire wealthy countries is reported not to respond to temperature5 , while poor countries respond only linearly5,6. Resolving this conflict between micro and macro observations is critical to understanding the role of wealth in coupled human–natural systems7,8 and to anticipating the global impact of climate change 9,10. Here we unify these seemingly contradictory results by accounting for non-linearity at the macro scale. We show that overall economic productivity is nonlinear in temperature for all countries, with productivity peaking at an annual average temperature of 13 6C and declining strongly at higher temperatures. The relationship is globally generalizable, unchanged since 1960, and apparent for agricultural and non-agricultural activity in both rich and poor countries. These results provide the first evidence that economic activity in all regions is coupled to the global climate and establish a new empirical foundation for modelling economic loss in response to climate change 11,12, with important implications. If future adaptation mimics past adaptation, unmitigated warming is expected to reshape the global economy by reducing average global incomes roughly 23% by 2100 and widening global income inequality, relative to scenarios without climate change. In contrast to prior estimates, expected global losses are approximately linear in global mean temperature, with median losses many times larger than leading models indicate.”

Untitled-1 Article pdf:




I am left by looking at these two papers with an idea, what happens to the intersection of the global south (e.g. Middle East) and the global north (e.g. Europe) if figure 4 is true politically?  Given the extreme amount of political instability that we see currently in the Middle East, I am left wondering what can be done to prevent this prediction.  I feel that it is possible to look at social media and weather data together, particularly at the intersection of Arabic and English language content with weather data to look at trends in language associated with violence and anger.  It is vital to deliver aid and economic and educational assistance in areas where social conflict may emerge.  In my experience at Standing Rock, I felt the arrival of a police presence that rivals that of what can be found in sites of violence in the Middle East like Gaza or Syria.  I am left questing a lot about whether these forces are justified.  The ethics of the whole situation is very complex.  Certainly, what is most important is delivering aid, be it educational, financial, or spiritual to sites that are going to be identified as dangerous sites of social conflict.  By looking at the intersection of social media traffic between the Arabic-English language intersection and weather data, I feel that we can find ways of making peace and harmony in the face of traumatic climate events.  The ecology of earth impacts human lives and everyone needs tools to be able to visualized and understand the complex weather systems of earth and how they will impact real lives.  Economies and the well being of whole societies rest on an accessible and easy to use way to visualize climate data and its intersection with socio-economics.

About kayaerbil

I am a Berkeley educated chemistry Ph.D. who is moving into the area of working on developing appropriate technology for communities that are subjected to socio-economic oppression. The goal is to use simple and effective designs to empower people to live better lives. Currently, I am working with Native Americans on Pine Ridge, the Lakota reservation in South Dakota. I am working with a Native owned and run solar energy company. We are currently working on building a compressed earth block (CEB) house that showcases many of the technologies that the company has developed. The CEB house is made of locally derived resources, earth from the reservation. The blocks are naturally thermally insulating, keeping the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Eventually, a solar air heater and photovoltaic panels will be installed into the house to power the home and keep it warm, while preserving the house off the grid. A side project while in Pine Ridge is a solar computer. I hope to learn about blockchain encryption software for building microgrids. In addition, it is an immediate interest of mine to involve local youth in technology education.
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