There can be no doubt that our world faces major environmental difficulties, and these go beyond human responsibility. They threaten planet Earth’s capacity for sustainable development into the future.
Technology advancements can help conserve the environment and reduce its negative impacts on nature. Examples include renewable energy sources, “smart technology” and electric vehicles.
Renewable energy is derived from natural resources like sunlight and wind. These sources replenish themselves faster than they are consumed, creating an endless cycle of renewable energy sources.
Non-renewable energy, on the other hand, comes from sources that will not be replenished for thousands or millions of years (like coal and oil), commonly referred to as fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels, when burned to generate energy, emit harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Transitioning away from fossil fuels can help address the climate crisis and protect nature at the same time.
However, there can be some challenges when it comes to implementing a renewable energy system. One major drawback is the upfront cost which may be prohibitive. Fortunately, financing solutions like green leases exist for businesses looking to go green. They’re especially beneficial for companies needing to install solar power plants or add extra electricity onto their grid.
Technology is increasingly being employed to enhance the quality of life for urban dwellers. A McKinsey Global Institute report on smart cities finds that digital applications can enhance some key quality-of-life dimensions by 10-30%, leading to lives saved, fewer crime incidents, shorter commutes, reduced health burdens and avoided carbon emissions.
The initial step should be to comprehend the needs and aspirations of urban residents and businesspeople who reside and operate in those cities. These should then be reflected in any smart city initiatives launched or implemented.
Smart cities must address issues of inequality and poverty, which often stem from the overexploitation and depletion of natural resources they consume. Furthermore, they should consider how their plans impact local biodiversity and ecosystems in order to preserve and restore those areas essential for both human life and nature’s well-being.
In a healthy environment, microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and protists are continuously breaking down organic matter. These organisms can survive in various temperatures and climates.
Bioremediation employs pollution-eating microorganisms to break down contaminated materials like oil or chemicals more rapidly than naturally. By providing them with food, oxygen, and other necessary conditions for breakdown to occur more rapidly than naturally, bioremediation can accelerate this natural process of degradation.
Bioremediation can be divided into two categories: intrinsic and engineered. Intrinsic bioremediation utilizes naturally existing microorganisms that already inhabit a contaminated site to eliminate pollutants.
Before applying the technique, extensive characterization, testing and monitoring of a site’s environment must be conducted. Engineered bioremediation is an even more advanced method that uses additional nutrients or substrate to foster microorganism growth that are necessary for remediation.
Early Detection of Wildfires
Wildfires have become one of the world’s most devastating natural disasters due to drought, rising temperatures and unpredictable weather patterns. When combined with poorly managed forests and an increasing number of people living in high-risk areas, the effects on nature can be devastating.
Wildfire detection has historically relied on fire lookout towers located in remote locations that are staffed with one person responsible for summoning help at the first sign of trouble. Unfortunately, these structures can be costly to construct and difficult to keep running smoothly.
One solution involves using Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to detect fires before they spread too far, making it easier to contain and extinguish. NVIDIA Inception member OroraTech has developed a service that utilizes data from satellites as well as ground-based cameras, aerial observations and local weather information in order to keep an eye out for wildfires before they happen.
California’s FUEGO (Fire Use Estimation Geographic Occupancy) system has already assisted with the identification of 494 fires within one year. However, researchers note that this technology is still developing and requires further refinement.