In another interesting example of how individuals can collectively produce a useful social good (much like ideas of monitoring bird flows, wikipedia, appearances or constructing an urban rain catchment area with cisterns on people’s houses), and developing patient data on rare diseases (PatientsLikeMe), Project BudBurst is aiming to chart climate change by the dates on which various leaves and flowers bud in your area.
They are targeting native U.S. tree and flower species and then putting the results into the BudBurst database. Since budding is a phenological event it is sensitive to climate change and can help track the dispersed impact of such. Through this effort “scientists can use it to learn about the responses of individual plant species to climatic variation locally, regionally, and nationally, and to detect longer-term impacts of climate change by comparing with historical data.”
(Project BudBurst is operated by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and a team of partners.)