Using GIS Technologies To Fight Climate Change

geographic information science gis technologies fight climate change tech global warming

Geographic information science (GIS) has developed significantly in the past decades, revolutionizing the way experts in different spheres collect and analyze data about our planet. Implementing remote sensing technology and geospatial tools, modern researchers can easily retrieve invaluable insights in the fields of geology and meteorology, which is critical in detecting and monitoring global climate change. GIS techniques and software allow for not only capturing but also mapping all of the changes for a convenient further analysis on the screen. 

With the endless list of opportunities GIS mapping offers, environment experts can closely monitor any environmental threats. Connecting GIS and climate change research means creating a powerful mechanism for solving global climate change issues to make an impact for the current and especially future generations. 

As the scientists that are studying Earth climate and its change unanimously agree that extreme weather events will happen with higher frequency in the future, new climate tracking models have to allow for predicting the impacts of such events. Ultimately, climate change means temperature increase (more frequent heat events), precipitation patterns shift, sea-level rise, storm activity increase, and more. And GIS technologies are a great tool to detect all of these changes and act upon. 

In this article, we will cover the exact ways GIS technology aids scientists in fighting particular climate change-related issues. But before that, let’s see a short overview of environmental disasters that took place in 2020 to understand how remote sensing can assist in monitoring these. 

Environmental Disasters In 2020 

Apart from the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 was tough on our planet in terms of environmental disasters. And the best way to monitor them remotely is via satellite imagery. For instance, LandViewer by EOSDA offers easy online access to a variety of Earth pictures that can be analyzed for different purposes. In this case, it’s to help scientists visualize environmental disasters and their impact. Here are the most significant of those in 2020: 

• Fires In California And Colorado. Almost 80 days lasting increase in fire seasons, mainly due to global warming. 

• Calving On The Brunt Ice Shelf In Antarctica. Two significant cracks on the Brunt Ice Shelf, growing eastward to intersect with other cracks. 

• Hurricane Laura In Louisiana. The hurricane reached the speed of 150 mph. 

• Norilsk Oil Spill. Thousand tonnes of diesel leaked from the power plant in Russia’s Arctic North. 

• Kamchatka Spill. A toxic leak at the almost 30-mile shoreline in Russia's far east. 

satellite imagery global warming environmental events climate change

Satellite imagery is a great tool for observing all of these events to monitor them, analyze their impact, and act accordingly. Ultimately, remote sensing allows for: 

• Threat prediction 
• Impact scaling 
• Rescuing of the affected 
• Losses estimation 
• Consequences mitigation 

Now, to the actual practical uses of GIS technologies in fighting global climate change for 2021 and the future. 

How GIS Technologies Assist In Combating Climate Change 

Let’s go through the most significant ways in which GIS technologies help scientists that research the Earth climate. 

Acting Upon Extreme Weather Events 

Extreme weather events include droughts, floods, hurricanes, etc. And climate change is usually the main cause of these events, making them happen more frequently and with bigger force. Geospatial methods are exactly what helps scientists to understand the connection between climate change and weather patterns better to improve prediction based on historical data and risk assessment. 

And if an extreme weather event occurs, geospatial intelligence assists the first responders and recovery workers. Besides, remote sensing data and satellite imagery allow for government officials to stay updated on the event’s impact, current condition, and detection of areas that need immediate intervention. 

Assessing Temperature 

GIS technology also helps climate researchers locate the areas where the temperature significantly differs compared to neighboring territories. By building GIS-based models, scientists can see how atmospheric processes, rising temperature, change in vegetation, and industrialization can impact the ecology, wildlife, and global climate change in the long run. 

And since extreme temperature changes are closely related to deforestation, land depletion, and melting glaciers, satellite data is a great assistant in mapping these processes to be able to stay informed and predict the upcoming disaster beforehand. 

Guiding Renewable Energy Strategies 

Modern organizations utilize GIS technologies to aid in minimizing their carbon footprint. Primarily, GIS allows for visualizing how people and businesses use power and what are its effects on the environment in the area. This pushes organizations to shift towards more environmentally friendly power sources like solar panels or windfarms. And GIS also helps to decide where to position the windfarm or evaluate if there is enough sunlight received by the building to install solar panels there. 

Mapping Air Quality 

Air quality mapping is critical in environmental protection. And GIS technology is of great help when monitoring air quality around the globe. Besides, it allows for developing air pollution models to be used in analyzing and projecting air quality over a certain time period. 

GIS technologies are already deeply integrated into environmental monitoring, preservation, and the overall fight against global climate change. GIS is moving the world towards sustainability by offering more and more opportunities for precise natural events prediction, tracking, and impact mitigation in 2021 and beyond.

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