Global Warming: using big data to address an immense challenge

Orange has joined Data for Climate Action - a challenge for the international scientific community to accelerate action on climate change. Using the vast amount of data companies generate, this challenge aims to better understand climate and climate-related crises and to better manage everyday life.
Orange contributes to this immense challenge with mobile data and some of its mobile phone antennas to be used as meteorological stations

Weather data, social media data, mobility data, consumption trends or financial transaction data are just a few examples of the datasets made available through the challenge. Orange is happy to be one of several contributing companies alongside BBVA, Crimson Hexagon, Earth Networks, Nielsen, Planet, Plume Labs, Schneider Electric, Waze.

Using these data sources to find climate solutions will be the task of researchers, data scientists and innovators participating in Data for Climate Action

The challenge is being hosted by Global Pulse, a UN innovation initiative harnessing big data for development and humanitarian action.


Telcos, big data and climate: how much potential is there?

Big data can help reduce emissions and strengthen the resilience of communities, enhancing their ability to prepare for, manage, and recover from a crisis.

For example, data from mobile phones, anonymized to protect the privacy of individuals, can be used to estimate population density in flood-affected areas to guide emergency response efforts.

Analyzing data from mobile users together with data from an electrical network can help to optimize the planning of an electrical network. In particular, it is possible to promote the use of renewable energies, as demonstrated by the winning project of the ‘ Orange Data For Development’ challenge in Senegal in 2015.

Proclamation of the results of Orange Data for Development challenge in 2015, at MIT Boston

In Data for Climate Action, it is the “action” we need to focus on

In Data For Climate Action, Orange is providing innovative datasets, including  data from Orange Morocco corresponding to variations in the transmission of radio signals between antennas which seem to be well correlated with variations in local rainfall.

We relied on our experience and know-how of the ‘Data 4 Development’ challenge. Within the Group, our technical experts will assist with preparing the data and establishing a secure access point for teams participating in the challenge. The rest is in the hands of the researchers.


UN Global Pulse launched the Data for Climate Action challenge ( on 9 March 2017. The multidisciplinary teams, selected by UN Global Pulse and the companies involved in the project, will have to sign general terms and conditions for the challenge as well as those of the contributing companies, in order to be given access to the data and the available tools. The teams will have around five months to develop and submit a proposal. Winners will be announced at the end of the year.


Learn more about  « Data for Good »

  1. Orange Data for Developement
  2. "It's time to scale up Big Data for Social Good"
  3. Data philanthropy

This article was previously published in the Orange section of the website.