Using Open Data to Assess the Local Impact of Global Warming

Global warming is not only about melting icebergs or expanding deserts, it happens in our backyard as well. It is actually not about global warming anymore, but about local warming. Ornaldo Gjergji, Data Analyst & Data Journalist at OBC Transeuropa, describes how they developed the Glocal Climate Change dashboard to analyse temperature data for more than 100,000 European municipalities in 35 countries, and how this work helps narrate global phenomena at local level.

A recent "Glocal Climate Change" data investigation by the European Data Journalism Network shows that climate change - as every global phenomenon - has its local impact, and now it is tangibly affecting every corner of Europe.

Climate change is increasingly under the spotlight of mass-media, considering it as one of the greatest challenges humanity is going to face in the following years. Yet, because of its global impact, much of the information around temperature change is generated by referring to macro areas if not global temperatures. Thanks to some open data from Copernicus - European Union's Earth observation programme - and from the European Space Agency, it is possible to overcome this constraint when it comes to data for Europe, and to “localize” the impact of climate change.

In 2020, OBC Transeuropa developed the Glocal Climate Change dashboard for the European Data Journalism Network (EDJNet) to explore the scale of global warming in local communities. The analysis looks at temperature data for more than 100,000 European municipalities in 35 countries. Mean values of the 1960s were compared with those of 2009-2018, in order to explore the scale of global warming in each municipality. Data is drawn from Copernicus and from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).

In this webinar Ornaldo Gjergji shows how the Glocal Climate Change dashboard can -effectively- be used to narrate global phenomena at the local level, to make the public relate their everyday experience with events happening worldwide. He explains the rationale behind the choices made during the development of the dashboard - from the data collection, the scope of the analysis and its methodology, to the visual narrative adopted and the relevance of the comparisons among different territorial levels.


Ornaldo Gjergji

Ornaldo works as a data analyst for media and NGOs. His main interest consists in making open data accessible to the many, either by supporting the development of online tools that make it easier to consult and reuse open data, or by directly supporting the work of journalists in bringing to life data-driven investigations that can shed some light on issues of public interest and relevance.

About the Organiser

Tactical Tech is an international non-profit organisation that engages with citizens and civil-society organisations to explore and mitigate the impacts of technology on society. Exposing the Invisible is a Tactical Tech project that develops resources, training and collaborations promoting investigation as one of the most important forms of public engagement.

This event is part of the Collaborative and Investigative Journalism Initiative (CIJI) project co-funded by the European Commission under the Pilot Project: "Supporting investigative journalism and media freedom in the EU" (DG CONNECT).

This text reflects the author’s view and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

First published on September 7, 2022