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A Decentralized Network for Climate Data: Arbol's dClimate

· Weather,Earth

A Decentralized Network for Climate Data: Arbol's dClimate

Today, Arbol is proud to introduce the world to dClimate, a decentralized marketplace where
climate data, models, and forecasts are standardized, monetized, and distributed.


Who Is dClimate For?

Those of us living in developed nations might take the importance of accurate local weather
forecasting for granted. The only reason to check the weather forecast in some locations is so
that you can make personal preparations: Do I need to carry an umbrella today? Do I need a
jacket? Snow boots?

But while we might use a weather forecasting app on our phones to make
personal preparations in our daily lives, there are numerous local businesses, small family
farms, multinational corporations, industries with exposure to the weather, and national
governments that rely on sound forecasting, climate data, and models to make critical planning
decisions at every juncture.


70% of businesses globally have some financial exposure to the weather. Around the world, and
in some cases in the very communities where we live and work, we are already beginning to
see the toll that volatile weather conditions can take on the physical and economic stability of
households and businesses.

Researchers at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy estimate that California’s devastating wildfires this past year could result in up to $10 billion in damages. Damages due to the impact of hurricanes are taking a greater toll each year on households, businesses, and public sector entities too, with last year’s damages projected to be in excess of $54 billion according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Governments at every level need accurate forecasting and climate data to inform almost every
major strategic planning and public policy decision they make. Every decision from how much
money is allocated to defense and foreign policy budgets, to decisions about how to prepare
food assistance programs in advance or determine the electricity needs of a given city are
informed by climate data.


Local shipping and trucking companies rely on accurate forecasting in order to optimize routes
around weather and ensure that they can deliver goods on time.


Construction companies need rain and wind forecasts to plan projects and avoid costly delays
and building issues.

Professional sports leagues like Major League Baseball (MLB) require long-term, accurate
forecasting models to plan their season schedule. The same is true for event companies that
plan outdoor concerts and music festivals.

As the physical and economic costs associated with climate change continue to put a greater
strain on communities throughout the world, the need for accurate, secure, and easily
accessible and interpretable climate data increases exponentially. The bottom line is that
demand for climate data is growing.

The Problem dClimate is Trying to Solve

Because so many different kinds of entities rely on accurate climate data, models, and forecasts
to make decisions, there should be a common place where they all go to obtain this critically
important information. But there isn’t. The climate data ecosystem as it exists today is
fragmented and difficult to navigate for even the most sophisticated user.


There is no common marketplace where publishers of climate data, be they independent
researchers or larger academic institutions, can go to monetize their work product. For
consumers of climate data, ranging from casual to sophisticated and professional, there is no
place where up-to-date, accurate data can be selected based upon a number of important
factors, including location and the category of data, which can then be compared and contrasted
based upon an independent skill rating assigned to the source. There is no Amazon for climate
data.

We know how troubling the current state of the climate data ecosystem is because we rely on it.
The four of us are the co-founders and principal executive officers at Arbol, an insurtech
platform for parametric products that are designed to help businesses build resilience against
climate risk. Unlike traditional insurance products that use human adjustors to evaluate and
assess damages and determine payouts, our platform is parametric, which means that we utilize
objective, third-party metrics like publicly verifiable climate and weather data sources to
determine payouts. We conceived of dClimate as an alternative to the current status quo of
climate data. As a place where platforms like Arbol, and other businesses and entities who rely
on this information can shop for the data they need in a standardized marketplace that
empowers and benefits all users.

dClimate is the culmination of Arbol's work in building a decentralized, blockchain based data
network over the past two years. Arbol will be an anchor client for the network, using it to
structure our parametric insurance and derivatives products. The way we think of dClimate is
Amazon building out AWS for their own needs and then releasing it to the outside world due to
its inherent utility. dClimate, similarly, is Arbol's data infrastructure being launched as a
standalone network. As the economic and social need for climate data grows, we believe
dClimate can become the premier platform for businesses and organizations to retrieve data
and prepare proactively for natural disasters.

dClimate’s mission is simple and straightforward: End the stagnation in the industry and bring
increased access, lower costs, better security, better accuracy, and both wider and deeper data
coverage — to the benefit of all participants. dClimate creates an open marketplace where all
data and forecasts have impartial “skill scores'' to make it easier for consumers to shop for
climate data. The dClimate marketplace leverages Chainlink’s widely adopted oracle network for
retrieving climate data and validating associated skill scores on-chain.

The algorithms for determining skill scores are proposed and voted on by the dClimate DAO
(decentralized autonomous organization), and if approved by the community, get deployed as
standalone Chainlink external adapters. Once these adapters are created, they are connected
to Chainlink’s decentralized oracle network, which serves as a trusted and easy-to-integrate
mechanism for validating and distributing data from publishers within the data marketplace. This
allows data providers and forecasting entities to monetize their work and establish domain
variable standards that make consuming climate data simple enough for even the most casual
user.


dClimate is our solution to the inefficiencies that plague the climate data ecosystem. It is our
solution for the businesses, farmers, multinational corporations, and governments who depend
on this information to make important decisions. And it is our solution for the scientists,
researchers, academics, and data scientists who have critically important climate research and
data to contribute, but no place where it can be housed and properly utilized.
dClimate brings all of the stakeholders in the climate data ecosystem together under a modern
architecture that supports data immutability and removes barriers to entry in the marketplace for
both consumers and publishers.

Written By Sid Jha, Ben Andre, Philippe Heilberg, and Osho Jha

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