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Using Big Data Analytics for Environmental Protection

Big Data has entrenched our lives in a Big manner. Top Big Data Analytics companies have developed sophisticated algorithms that can predict consumer behaviour with pinpoint accuracy.

We live in digital times where data plays a significant role in deciding what we eat, which movies we watch, and it effectively determines every purchase decision we make. If Big Data can affect our choices, why can’t it be used to make us more sensitive to the impending catastrophe called “Climate Change”?

Using the power of Big Data Analytics, many global renowned organizations like the UN, EPA, and Microsoft are taking giant strides in our fight against Climate Change. They are already devising strategies using the power of predictive algorithms to save the planet from this human-induced disaster.

Big Data is going to be a significant weapon in our fight to save the environment

Better regulatory compliance

Using the latest sensor technologies, governments can monitor environmental data in real-time. Big data technology also improves the quality of data and helps the government in implementing better environmental regulations. Suppose the government monitors the emissions admitted by a large utility like a thermal power generation plant. By using smoke quality monitoring sensors, it can ensure that the emission norms are followed.

By helping the government analyze and measure data sets, big data can have a massive impact on the environment. Big Data Analytics systems can help the government and the industry find new and innovative ways that would help bring environmental sustainability.

Big data analytics provides a much clearer picture

Using Big Data Analytics, the stakeholders can attain a visible picture of the issue they are facing. Big Data allows the researchers to identify various correlations which they would have otherwise missed.

Researchers are using a complex network of sensors to collect data on various kinds of pollution. They can then co-relate the level of pollution with the type of industry, geography, and other factors.

Big data helps governments, businesses, and climate researchers derive meaningful conclusions and draw connections between various factors and pollution. Data visualizations help the researchers identify the causes of pollution and also help in finding out the potential solutions.

Identifying environmental risk factors with big data Analytics

According to the Pareto principle, 80% of outcomes are due to 20% of factors. It is interesting to note that this principle applies to most areas of life. Environmental degradation is no exception, and recent research has shown that 9 out of 10 ecological degradation contributions are made from urban areas.

Research conducted by Scientific America has concluded that only 100 cities contribute more than 20% of the global carbon footprint.

It has become easy for researchers to draw such conclusions using big data, connecting problems with their source. Big data helps policymakers identify the areas that need urgent attention, allowing them to mitigate the risk of climate change in an effective manner.

Big data can help prevent climate change

According to a report from the UN intergovernmental panel on climate change, if we cannot limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, there will be grave and irreversible consequences.

By analyzing prominent data, scientists now know that more than 25% of global tree cover was lost between 2001 and 2015 due to commodity-driven deforestation activities.

By sensitizing consumers, policymakers can reduce the pace of deforestation. To see whether their sensitization efforts are paying off or not, the policymakers can assess the social media trends. By conducting Big Data Analytics of social media trends, the policymakers can also effectively engage the consumers through innovative social media campaigns regarding the ill effects of climate change.

Using predictive analytics models, big data can help scientists in forecasting the effects of climate change problems. Research scientists have data about the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Based on current trends, they can predict the amount of CO2 that will be released into the environment through human activities. Data scientists can then build various models predicting the effect of different policy decisions on climate change.

Big data analytics can optimize resource usage

Optimization of resources is always a top priority for governments as well as various industries. Through efficient use of resources like electricity and water, these organizations will save money for themselves and help reduce stress on the environment.

Using an extensive network of sensors, data scientists are collecting valuable data on the energy and water usage of large buildings. This helps these buildings in saving money by identifying the inefficient utilization of these resources. Problems like a leaking tap or a faulty wire can cause the costs to spiral up.

Big Data Analytics can help the management of these buildings in finding out the potential areas where cost overruns can be minimized.

Leading Big Data Analytics companies are combining the power of Big Data with sensors and other advanced systems to adjust the electricity consumption of a building according to its usage pattern.

By saving electricity, buildings can minimize environmental damage. This is because electricity is generated in many countries through thermal power plants, which use environmentally degrading elements like coal and oil as their fuel.

Big data and Renewable Energy sources

We all know how important renewable energy sources are for conserving the earth. Big data can help in strengthening the renewable sources of energy concerning fossil fuels.

Using state-of-the-art algorithms, big data can harness the power of the wind. The power generation capacity of windmills depends on the speed of the wind. Hence, by analyzing weather patterns, big data can predict the rate of wind at a particular location. This helps in determining the perfect geographical location where the power of wind can be harnessed in the best possible manner, producing more energy in the process.

Big data can also decide the perfect angle for the solar panels according to the time of the day. This helps in maximizing the power output of solar panels, improving their efficiency.

By avoiding leaks and having greater control over the flow of water, hydroelectric power plants can improve their efficiency. Big data can contribute to these aspects.

Big data can also rationalize tariffs by connecting the weather forecast with smart meters, making it possible to adjust the electricity consumption demand in real-time.

Ongoing Environmental Efforts using Big Data Analytics

The Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) of the United States acquired the membership of the National Consortium for Data Science (NCDS) which is considered to be one of the most prominent organizations in the world related to big data.

One of the most ambitious projects of EPA is known as the stream catchment data set project, which aims to map all the water shades and streams all across the United States of America.

By doing this, the EPA wants to know in detail about the prevailing conditions of these essential water resources.

Microsoft is doing its bit in trying to save the earth by the ambitious use of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. In a groundbreaking project, the company aims to simulate life on earth. The plan is to simulate the entire biosphere so that the effect of significant events such as Deforestation and Environmental pollution can be measured effectively.

The United Nations has been a vocal proponent of using big data in its fight against climate change. The Global Forest Watch is a project which provides information regarding the forests of the world. By making the Global Forest Watch, the United Nations helps various countries like Guyana, Canada, Russia, and Congo in creating policies for the conservation of these forests.

The Big Step

Big Data Analytics tools like predictive algorithms combined with Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence will play an essential role in determining the future of our planet. Environment conservation is not just a need, it has become an emergency now, and for achieving this big goal, significant steps need to be taken.

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