It’s no secret that climate change is a global issue requiring the emergence of new technologies to help combat it. This widespread need for innovation has produced a number of exciting and rather unique climate technologies, a few of which we thought we’d share with you today!
From smart cities to drones firing baby sapling seeds into the earth, this post has it all.
Without further ado let’s jump into these three climate technologies you might not have heard of!
Mass Tree Planting with Drones
First up on the list (and our favourite for obvious reasons) is tree planting using drones. As you know, the team behind Exploratree and Kinsume love trees, so when we came across this technology we couldn’t believe our eyes.
Instead of being used for filming from dizzy heights, drones are being put to good use in India. They are being used to plant many more trees a day than humans could possibly manage.
Flash Forest, a Canadian startup, even managed to plant 40,000 trees in a month using this method. Not only do they allow trees to be planted immeasurably faster but they also can be planted in areas that are inaccessible to humans. The steep slopes of the Doddaballapur hill range are an example of this, as trees are being planted on the previously untouched and treacherous hillsides of the range. The way in which this is done is through the drone firing seed pods into the ground, as the drone hovers in mid air.
Sounds pretty futuristic, right?
Tackling Climate Change with Artificial Intelligence
We all know about the fears of finding ourselves in a matrix situation, with AI reigning over us! But do not fear, AI may even be a friend in the fight against climate change. In recent times, the vast processing power of computing and emergence of AI has been used to monitor outbreaks of wildfires, create more efficient heating systems for commercial buildings and boost the yields of crops on a global scale!
Microsoft, a partner of 2030Vision, are supplying their AI technology to organisations who are working on climate change. AI’s ability to record data, predict trends and make use of other technologies such as satellites, means it could be used in a way which reduces greenhouse gasses considerably. One example of AI being used to this effect is by Terrafuse, helped by tech giants Microsoft. Azure, Microsoft’s service, allows Terrafuse to use satellite observations, previous fire data and real simulations to better monitor and detect the risk of wildfires in hyperlocal areas. This data can then be used to better combat the climate issues that wildfires cause.
A more simple use of AI is already in place in some buildings, which utilises AI to monitor their heating and cooling system. Automatically temperate is adjusted, making it appropriate for those inside, which reduces wasted energy, particularly in large urban buildings. Other areas in which it could be used effectively is to do with waste. By using satellites and sensors, climate change impacts can be predicted before and this can allow protection of fragile ecosystems.
Finally, in food systems, AI could help make precision agriculture more widespread. Precision agriculture is supported by AI and would have multiple benefits if implemented. It would enable proper monitoring of crop yields, reduced chemicals in the farming process and less water waste. Food waste could also help be minimised through identifying demand, and the amount of spoiled produce.
Efficiency Gains from Smart Cities
Major cities today usually rely heavily on a backbone of technology. Transport, communication and many occupations are centred around technology that make modern cities modern. But what if this technology could be used in a smarter, more sustainable way?
“Smart Cities” were named so because of their ability to use information and communication technology (ICT) to better the quality of life of citizens within. Technology acts as the base of this, with smartphones, sensors and other data capturing devices central to enabling cities to be smart. This means companies and app creators play a key role in making cities smart.
Apps make use of the data collected and present it in an accessible way that is informative for the public. Following this, the reliance is on cities, the public and companies, to ensure widespread usage of this technology. This then can help users, as accurate data can allow for people to; travel at off-peak hours and take more effective routes, or use less water and energy, amongst a number of other ways that reduce the carbon footprint of a city.
The infrastructure of smart cities could also be key, alongside the public use of smart technology. Water infrastructure, energy grids and air quality sensors are all areas that would be greatly improved by smart solutions, as well as reduced waste and air pollution.
However, much like the need for a basis of smart phones in order to make data accessible to people, sensors are crucial in this aspect. Sensors that track water consumption, heat consumption and air pollution are essential. Through these sensors, we are able to navigate the amount of energy needed for a city, and as a result the amount of waste that can be saved.
Smart cities are currently more concerned with bettering the quality of life for its citizens, through quicker commuting times, lower crime rates and a more virtually connected city, however we hope for a shift towards a more sustainably conscious model of smart cities, putting that technology to real good use.
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about these unique climate technologies and the monumental impact they have on reducing energy wastage, improving efficiency and tackling climate change in general.
Stay tuned for more inspiring stories on the many ways we are battling climate change and all things sustainable here on Exploratree!