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Al Gore Narrates Google Earth Tour For COP15

Green campaigner and former US vice president Al Gore is providing a voice for a 3D map of climate change, before the UN Climate Conference

Search giant Google has launched what it is calling a “Google Earth Tour” narrated by climate campaigner and former US vice-president Al Gore to help push the message about the impacts of climate change ahead of the UN climate change talks in Copenhagen in December.

Google announced in a blog posting this week that it had teamed up with the Danish government to offer a series of “layers and tours” based on its Google Earth 3D mapping application. Users are able to see what effects climate change could have on the planet via simulations on Google Earth based on data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). “We show on Google Earth the range of expected temperature and precipitation changes under different global emissions scenarios that could occur throughout the century,” the company said.

The first Google Earth tour to be released is called Confronting Climate Change and is narrated by Al Gore. The Copenhagen UN Climate Change Conference will be held from 7 to 18 December and will aim to create a successor to the climate agreements developed in Kyoto in 1997 which only extended to 2012.

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Google is also enlisting its YouTube video site into the pre-Copenhagen publicity drive with a dedicated channel YouTube COP15. “On the channel, you can submit your thoughts and questions on climate change to decision-makers and the world through an initiative called “Raise Your Voice.” These videos will be broadcast on screens around the conference in December and rated by viewers of the channel,” Google said.

According to Google, the top-rated contributions to the channel will be aired globally during a COP15 CNN/YouTube debate on December 15th, and the top two submissions will win a trip to Copenhagen.

Earlier this week Prime Minister Gordon Brown has told a flashmob, assembled outside the Houses of Parliament, that he will go to the UN Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen in December.