Analyzing climate change with Python: an interview with Dr. Eduardo Garcia Villena


Dr. Eduardo García Villena, coordinator of the Environment and Sustainability area of FUNIBER will give the webinar “Reacting to climate change with Python”, in collaboration with the Universidad Internacional Iberoamericana de Puerto Rico (UNIB), on June 10 at 5:00 pm.

We spoke with him about his research in the field of climate change:

Why did you choose Python to analyze climate change?

Python is a very versatile tool for exploratory analysis and statistical interpretation of data, among many other applications. Unlike office applications or other programming languages, which require large infrastructures or complex compilations for a large amount of data, Python is an open source software, multiplatform, relatively easy to learn and friendly, so it is available to any person or researcher. It is therefore ideal for forecasting, modeling and trend analysis of climate change in this case. 

What are the main strengths of the code?

Apart from those mentioned above, one of the strengths of the Python language undoubtedly lies in its libraries, which are fundamental for the data analyst. These libraries make it possible to generate tables, matrices, visualize graphs, work with machine learning algorithms, among others, for decision making. I would also highlight its multiplatform quality, which allows working even in the cloud with Google Colab.

Portrait of Dr. Eduardo García Villena, coordinator of the Environment and Sustainability area of FUNIBER.
Dr. Eduardo García Villena, coordinator of the Environment and Sustainability area of FUNIBER.

How do you think using Python as a forecasting tool can influence climate change awareness?

Python is a tool to achieve an end in itself, which is to raise awareness of the danger that climate change represents for present and future generations. If by means of a simple graph we can visualize that the average temperature of the planet has indeed increased over time due to greenhouse gas emissions, that is worth more than any story or speech we can read or hear from politicians.

What will attendees learn in this webinar?

Although the webinar has a strong component of structured programming, the underlying objective is to raise awareness of the reality of climate change, focusing on the evolution of climate from the early twentieth century to the present time and in a given region. To this end, the trend of an anomalous temperature distribution during that period of time will be determined and statistical conclusions will be drawn based on the results. At the same time, participants will learn the importance of acquiring structured programming habits for their projects, as well as some interesting particularities of the Python language, beyond office programs such as Excel.

What are your forecasts on the progress of climate change?

Unfortunately, my opinion on the resolution of this problem is rather pessimistic. After many years of debate, the lack of political will and declarations of intent have, with few exceptions, set the policy course. Very little progress has been made in this area, and the pandemic has shown that there is still a long way to go. The question we are all asking ourselves is whether there is still time to reverse this situation, and I think not.

Those interested in attending the webinar can register by clicking on the following link.


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