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Getting involved with Climate Science via crowdfunding and crowdsourcing

Posted on 18 January 2021 by BaerbelW

This article was originally published in December 2016 and was updated on January 6 2021 to mention the short term crowdfunding project SCIARA as well as the new crowdsourcing project Old Weather - WW2.

At a guess, many of you reading this post are already making good personal choices to help mitigate climate change. Some of you would perhaps like to do more. So, here are some suggestions where you can get actively involved either via crowdfunding, where you make a monetary donation or via crowdsourcing, where you donate your or your computer's time to sift through different sets of data.

This post is divided into three sections:

Ongoing crowdfunding - sites and groups listed here are continously looking for donations

Shortterm crowdfunding - these are projects with a target amount and a set deadline

Crowdsourcing - projects looking for your (or your computer's) time

Ongoing crowdfunding

Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF)

Logo-CSLDF The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund was established to make sure that legal actions are not viewed as an attack against one scientist or institution, but as attacks against the scientific endeavor as a whole. As well. the CSLDF protects individual scientists facing unfair legal attacks by organized groups. Given the current climate - pun most definitely intended - in the U.S. the CSLDF's work is unfortunately becoming ever more important. Link to donation page

Dark Snow Project

Jason Box's and Peter Sinclair's The Dark Snow Project gathers ‘hard numbers’ from the Arctic to quantify the distant snow/ice melting impact of industrial and wildfire black carbon soot; mineral dust; and microbes, each melt factor having some human driven enhancement. Link to donation page LogoDarkSnow

The Australian Climate Council

LogoClimateCouncil After thousands of Australians chipped in to Australia's biggest crowd-funding campaign, the abolished Climate Commission has relaunched as the new, independent Climate Council. We exist to provide independent, authoritative climate change information to the Australian public. Why? Because our response to climate change should be based on the best science available. Link to donation page

Citizens’ Climate Education (CCE)

Your donation to Citizens’ Climate Education will train ordinary citizens to promote fair, effective, and non-partisan climate change solutions. Citizens’ Climate Education’s volunteers understand that we owe it to tomorrow’s generations to face our climate challenges today. These informed, respectful citizens work to build a clean and prosperous future, leading elected officials towards solutions that reduce carbon pollution, create jobs, and strengthen the American economy. Link to donation page Logo-CCE

Real Skeptic Blog

Logo-RS The goal of Real Skeptic is to look at claims about science and investigate what the scientific literature has to say about it. Since the official start of Real Sceptic a wide array of articles about skepticism were written for this website. There’s a heavy emphasis on the accuracy of the articles published and the usage of high quality sources. Link to Patreon page

Inside Climate News

InsideClimate News is an essential, global voice that exposes the truth about the climate crisis. We connect the dots to those responsible, so that you can hold them accountable. As we enter our 10th year, we’re launching The InsideClimate Circle to ensure that our award-winning nonprofit news organization remains fiercely independent and courageously persistent. Link to membership page ICN-Log


Logo-ClimateAdam Adam Levy is a doctor in atmospheric physics from the University of Oxford. During his research he saw the huge gap between what we know about climate change and how we talk about it. So he created the ClimateAdam channel dedicated to explaining climate change in playful and engaging ways: everything from the crucial science to the actions we can all take. In order to grow his channel, he set up a Patreon project.

Just have aThink

Dave Borlace has been conscious of environmental issues since studying for a BSc in Technology with the Open University back in the late 1990s. In early 2017 Dave set off on a quest to create climate communication videos that aim to decode the sometimes overwhelmingly complicated and confusing scientific information around climate change and explain the concepts in the sort of plain English that he, and hopefully you, can understand. As well as looking at the causes and consequences of climate change, Dave also presents news of the technological breakthroughs that may help us avoid, or at least mitigate, the worst of those consequences. To support this work Dave has now set up a Patreon page. ICN-Log

Short term crowdfunding projects

This section will highlight short term climate-related crowdfunding projects we deem worthwhile to support. Please feel free to make suggestions in the comments so that we can check them out. To give you an idea of which types of projects would likely "make the cut", here are some links to past projects:

Climate Feedback: a guide to reliable climate news on Indiegogo

Global Weirding with Katharine Hayhoe on Indiegogo

Baba Brinkman's 'Rap Guide to Climate Chaos' Album on Indiegogo

DeSmog UK's Indieegogo project



The non-profit company SCIARA is developing a platform for participative social-ecological simulation experiments that allows thousands of participants to simultaneously take collective trips into possible climate futures - like in a vivid, but serious multiplayer online game, based on scientific models. With this system and community of participants, decision makers can test assumptions about the efficacy of proposed measures with actual, representative human beings in a realistic simulation setting, including inter-participant communication and realistic media reports in various flavours. SCIARA is developing this system in close cooperation with the notable Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and is officially supported by Scientists for Future, the EAT forum and two institutes of the University of Princeton.

The crowdfunding runs on the StartNext platform from January 6 to February 14, 2021 and the initial funding goal is €60.000.

Crowdsourcing projects

Climate Prediction

Logo-CP We run hundreds of thousands of state-of-the-art climate models, each very slightly different from the others, but still plausibly representing the real world. This technique, known as ensemble modelling, requires an enormous amount of computing power. Climate models are large and resource-intensive to run and it is not possible to run the large number of models we need on supercomputers. Our solution is to appeal to volunteer computing, which combines the power of thousands of ordinary computers, each of which tackles one small part of the larger modelling task. Project information

Climate CoLab

The goal of the Climate CoLab is to harness the collective intelligence of thousands of people from all around the world to address global climate change. Inspired by systems like Wikipedia and Linux, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Center for Collective Intelligence has developed this crowdsourcing platform where people work with experts and each other to create, analyze, and select detailed proposals for what to do about climate change. Project information Logo-Colab

Old Weather

Logo-OldWeather Old Weather volunteers explore, mark, and transcribe historic ship's logs from the 19th and early 20th centuries. We need your help because this task is impossible for computers, due to diverse and idiosyncratic handwriting that only human beings can read and understand effectively. By participating in Old Weather you'll be helping advance research in multiple fields. Data about past weather and sea-ice conditions are vital for climate scientists, while historians value knowing about the course of a voyage and the events that transpired. Since many of these logs haven't been examined since they were originally filled in by a mariner long ago you might even discover something surprising. Project "Arctic" and Project "Whaling"

Old Weather - WW2

Help recover hidden weather data collected by the U.S. Navy during World War II. The purpose of this project is to recover hidden marine weather data recorded in U.S. Navy ships' logbooks during World War II. Like all Old Weather projects, these data will be used to drive sophisticated computer models that help us understand weather and climate in extraordinary detail. But there is another goal that is just as vital - to uncover the source of a mysterious distortion in the Navy temperature data collected during the war. Get involved in Old Weather LogoWeatherRescue 

Oh, and just in case you'd like one more suggestion, we have a little link in the top menue as well which will take you to our own donations page!

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Comments 1 to 13:

  1. I'm probably just a few days away from reaching the one million milestone for total computing credit with My total credit stands at 997,353 now. My recent average credit is a little over 1,000/day. So, maybe I'll get there in three days unless Trump finds a way to outlaw climate science before he takes office.

    Since sometimes runs out of tasks to distribute, I also donate computer time to World Community Grid, which always maintains a backlog of tasks. WCG supports a variety of volunteer computing projects, all of them socially useful in some way (disease prevention, developing renewable energy, etc.).

    I run BOINC on my little notebook computer, which consumes around 20W or less. In the cold months I harvest the waste heat by having the computer on a stand inside my homemade thermal shelter. (With the computer plus my ~100W of body heat, the inside temperature of the shelter reaches around 25°F-30°F above my surrounding house temperature, enabling me to comfortably get through most southern Ohio winters without heating my house much. I only have to run the heat briefly on occasion when we get cold enough weather to freeze my pipes. Thanks to global warming that seems to be happening less often. But we might get close next week.)

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  2. It won't be news to many on this site but the videos of potholer54 are very pertinent as well as being amusing.

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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Link added (for those living in caves)

  3. Just added a neat new crowdsourcing project to the list:

    Weather Rescue

    In this project you can help transcribe "forgotten weather records from the UK's highest mountain". 

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  4. A new Kickstarter project by illustrator Megan Herbert and climate scientist Michael E. Mann started on Oct. 11. They are looking for pledges to publish a kids' book about climate change called "The tantrum that saved the world". As of right now, they have pledges for $6,400+ out of the $20,000 they are looking. The crowdfunding runs until November 11.

    You can check it out here.

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  5. Peter Sinclair released a new video about the

    Dark Snow Project Field Season 2018

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  6. Heads-Up: The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) is currently running its summer fund raiser where its trustee Charles Zeller is matching all donations up to $50K. If you'd like to contribute, you can do so via their donation page.

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  7. Coinciding with British Science Week between 8 – 17 March 2019, Weather Rescue is looking for help to transcribe pressure and temperature data found in old logs:

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  8. Updated the post with ClimateAdam's recently launched Patreon project.

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  9. Updatd the post to include David Borlace's "Have a Think" Patreon project.

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  10. What is the rate a new regenerative agricultural method sequesters carbon in the soil?

    34% funded and 20 days left. Thanks so much for those who helped!

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  11. <>

    True, although the concept was first drafted back in July 2011 ... by me :)

    Baerbel I suppose you wouldn't want to add my personal project of Still sort of early in the project but definitely open to contributors, as it's still only just me working on it and the task of finding all papers that found an observed effect of climate change is, as you can imagine, quite large. Also looking for people who understand SEO and can help with design consulting. 

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    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Link activated.

  12. Wow, I've been working too late again and I got lost reading about climateprediction. is the name of my project

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  13. Dawei @10 & 11

    Can you please drop us an email via the contact form? Right now your website doesn't quite fit the crowdsourcing aspect as there's no option to sign up for any tasks like the other sites do. Therey may however be other options to support your project.

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