Big Data Playing Big to Protect the Planet from Climate Change

by October 27, 2018

For all that we think about environmental change and an unnatural weather change, there is considerably more we don’t know. According to a new report by UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), from 2010 levels, carbon dioxide emissions due to humans should fall by 45% till 2030. And by 2050, it should reach to ‘net zero’. The other emissions would be required to be adjusted by expelling CO2 from the air, for instance, through reforestation and improved land administration.

The report further addresses that quick, expansive and remarkable changes in all parts of society are required to confine global warming to 1.5C and maintain a strategic distance from an irreversible regular tipping point.

To tackle such a crucial and sensitive issue, we need more time and information. One approach to accelerate information gain, at any rate in the current scenario, is to deploy big data technologies. By accumulating information and data constantly, we can remove significant intel and bits of knowledge that could promote our community. Well, through big data, we came to know that our planet last year lost tree cover proportionate to 40 football fields per minute. From 2001-2015, global tree cover loss which was more than a quarter was mainly due to deforestation.

When it comes to Big Data, historical data is important just like the most recent information. It enables us to delineate patterns and trends, which we can use to foresee what’s to come. Also, recognizing what’s coming means more feasible answers for managing potential issues. However, even if the datasets are real-time, it can still help us to solve the problem. For instance, in the supply chain, we can locate pressure points or detrimental emissions. Such a huge transformation in the way we’re using data today is referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution by World Economic Forum.

However, the initial step to finding an answer for any issue, big or small, is understanding as much about it as humanly conceivable. We require in-depth knowledge of environmental change, how our planet is changing and what’s causing the most noteworthy ecological changes. All the more critically, we have to see how the present reality is not the same as the universe of yesterday, and how we can utilize that data to foresee the condition of the world tomorrow.

One such bold step of utilizing data to fight against climate change was taken by Jerry Brown, Governor of California, wherein, they’ll be launching their own satellite to screen the impacts of environmental change. This initiative was to help businesses and governments to spot and stop harmful emissions with phenomenal accuracy, on a scale that was never done before.

California will be working with Planet Labs, an Earth imaging company from San Francisco. California will build a satellite which will be capable of detecting the source of environmental pollutants, examining loopholes and other deviations too.

This project is an initiative by the California Air Resources Board, partnered with Environmental Defense Fund’s MethaneSAT. Scheduled to be launched in 2021, MethaneSAT will provide more extensive, more successive inclusion, evaluating outflows from oil and gas fields which are responsible for no less than 80% of worldwide yield generally in every four days.

Independently, both the teams will produce imperative information on destructive outflows. When both the data sets are combined, it gives us more accurate results. For example, if MethaneSAT waves a warning around a discharges spike in a given field, the California instrument would then focus in on particular facilities and point out the bigger sources.

Additionally, both Planet Labs and The California Air Resources Board will work with the Environmental Defense Fund in partnership. This is to set up a common platform to reveal data to empower businesses, governments and even landowners to seek more focused improvement measures

There are some systems that have been around for a long while. NASA’s Landsat innovation, for example, offers an inconceivable glimpse of the land surface worldwide, and how it’s changed throughout the years. The U.S. Natural Protection Agency has additionally utilized their immense accumulation of information in the past to indicate what changes are going on to our planet.

Big Data is already put to use and is playing a major role with regards to exposure of such sensitive topics and its awareness. The U.N.’s Big Data Climate Change Challenge in 2014 was started way back in 2014. Through concentrated endeavors, NASA, the U.S. EPA and Global Pulse are working together to accumulate, break down and share information about the subject.  A standout amongst the most dynamic ways they’re doing this is, by evaluating social media for different talks and mentions about the theme. You can see a Global Pulse map of how relative environmental climate change tweets occur far and wide. You can even get a breakdown by subject, including general, climate, governmental issues and then some. In that way, you can precisely see what parts of environmental change the general population is keen on.

Utilizing information to battle environmental change and comprehend the subject better has been prevailing since the last few years. In any case, it’s simple that we’ll have to keep depending on technology if we need to have any impacts and see the difference of now and then. The point, all by itself, is excessively mind-boggling for any one individual to understand. Moreover, it’s very much complex for the vast majority to even accept.

Nonetheless, to really think of solutions for problems prevailing, we have to jump further. For a fact, there is no measurable advancement, unless we, as humans, recognize the presence and danger of human-caused environmental change. Predictive systems, analytical tools, machine learning, artificial intelligence will all play a pivotal role with regards to future aspects of climate change. We do have a few confinements to surpass before anything real will occur, yet that is valid for any technology enforced in new, imaginative ways. Hopefully, we can conquer them, and change the fate of our planet where everything is much improved and better.