Climate change is one of the biggest and most threatening challenges we as human beings have ever faced and, due to our failure to adequately act to stop it over the past thirty years, the time we have in which to avoid the devastating consequences of climate change is running out.
As we continue to consume more and more goods while our waste continues to pile higher, we human beings are directly affecting the environment we live in and contributing to a change in global climate that is already beginning to affect certain parts of the world. Unfortunately, climate scientists predict that the rate of global warming is set to increase 0.4% over the next two decades.
This may all paint a particularly grim picture; however, all is not lost. The Internet of Things (IoT) holds much potential to help us avoid the catastrophic weather and environmental conditions brought on by climate change and many of the technologies and infrastructures for these solutions are available today.
In this article, we’ll be looking at five ways in which the Internet of Things could help to reduce or combat the effects of climate change and enable us to cut emissions and live and work much more sustainably.
1) Smart Meters
Conserving energy is one of the best ways in which we can all look to reduce the amount of energy we waste around our homes, and smart meters are a great way to keep track of or even automate your energy savings. As well as helping to combat climate change, smart meters could also help you to save money on your energy bills, too.
As the Internet of Things expands, smart meters will be able to connect to nearly every powered device in your home, expanding its ability to conserve both energy and the environment as well as reduce your carbon footprint.
Eventually, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies will enhance smart meters to a point at which they may even be able to improve and manage the energy consumption levels of your entire home.
2) Big Data
Data has been at the heart of almost all of the innovation involving the Internet of Things, and this will continue to be the case for as long as we continue to capture, process, and utilize this data.
When it comes to climate change, the data produced by IoT sensors and other devices is proving an invaluable tool when used to measure the changes happening within our climate and other related fields of research.
Without data, the Internet of Things becomes nothing but an empty highway. As we begin to collect increasingly precise data measurements from IoT devices, other data-reliant technologies such as predictive maintenance tools and AI systems could be integrated to significantly enhance the use and value of data further.
3) Advanced Agriculture
There has been much debate over recent years as to the effect of climate change on agriculture around the world. With cattle emissions, infrastructure and transportation operations and the fight against soil degradation, climate change is producing many challenges for farmers and those working in the agricultural industry for years. Agriculture enterprises have also struggled to reduce their own impact on climate change through carbon emissions.
While its carbon emissions are some of the largest on the planet, the agricultural sector is also one of the most important and, therefore, is looking to the Internet of Things for ways in which it can significantly improve its sustainability through schemes such as smart farming and precision agriculture. As with several other points on this list, advanced agriculture such as smart farming and precision agriculture could be further enhanced through the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced automation.
4) Environmental Projects
The environment is something the majority of people are passion about in some way or another. Because of this, there are a huge number of projects that have been set up with the aim to cut emissions, pollution, illegal logging, and various other environmentally damaging or polluting activities.
As their availability has become more widespread, IoT devices have been adopted by these causes to great effect.
One example involves efforts to reduce deforestation, which accounts for 15% of all global carbon emissions, using sensors attached to trees that listen out to detect then report illegal logging.
Another example involves a similar set up but being used to detect illegal poaching. This data can be seen in real-time and it is believed these kinds of technologies will enable groups to negotiate increased protections for these areas to help combat climate change and deforestation.
5) Smart Buildings & Cities
Smart buildings and cities are the next step in connecting buildings, homes, offices, warehouses, and all manner of public infrastructure.
Operations such as lighting, power, waste collection, and alarm systems, as well as many other technologies, can be connected to centralized management systems that run them as efficiently as possible in order to reduce energy waste and the building’s carbon footprint.
Using IoT-powered intelligent transportation systems, a smart city could one day navigate you through its streets on a route that best avoids lingering on traffic lights or heavily congested areas. These systems would also be powered by the data they and other connected systems generated and shared that would then likely be utilized by a central management system in order to make the smart city truly intelligent.
As climate change becomes increasingly relevant for everyone on the planet, the applications of IoT technologies listed above could all be utilized in order to help combat the effects of climate change and keep any extreme weather or environments to a minimum.