Collaborative climate change website targets both experts, average folks

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ImageWikipedia, the collaborative encyclopedia website, has interestingly turned the concept of wiki sites into something that seems to be a relatively accepted and trustworthy source of information.

An interesting new wiki tool called Climate Lab takes this concept one step further. The people behind the site, which was beta-launched last week, hope that it will serve as both a clearinghouse source of information for the general public, as well as a collaborative and knowledge-sharing tool for experts of issues related to climate change.

Climate Lab's board chair Jessica Morey, who I talked to by phone, told me that the idea behind the site was inspired by work at the World Bank. She said she noticed there was "a huge need for coordination and collaboration for climate change" research between organizations. So many people, she said, are repeating each other's research, which can wind up inaccessible – for example, in a 100-page report that winds up collecting dust on a shelf.

Morey noted that the issues surrounding climate change research are more time-sensitive than the pace allowed by traditional collaborative research between organizations: "[Climate Lab] is one tool that we could try to really speed up solutions."

The homepage links to featured wiki topics on the site as well as related news, and it looks like anyone can sign up for an account. Morey says they are also early in the process of reaching out to people with a range of expertise at universities and organizations, including the World Bank. Do you think this is a site that may be valuable to you? Would you create content or rather read what others have to contribute like me?

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