How technology can play a role with respect to the environment:
The development of various types of technology in today’s time has given rise to more convenience and efficiency. Technology can be used to properly understand and address important challenges like climate change, degradation of the environment, scarcity of food, management of waste, along with other important global issues and challenges. Data can be consolidated and stored in various information systems online in the form of comprehensive portals. These portals can then be accessed by academicians, scientists, students, environmentalists, and anyone else as they need it. These expansive databases can cover a variety of areas such as wildlife conservation databases, marine flora databases, forest cover databases and the like.
A few technology systems which can be used for the betterment of the environment are:
- Remote Sensing
- Google Earth
- Geographical Information System (GIS)
- The World Wide Web
- The database ENVIS: Environmental Information System
Remote Sensing refers to obtaining information of a place from a distance. In this process, the physical characteristics of an area are detected and further monitored through the measurement of its reflected and emitted radiation. This is carried out with the help of remote sensors on satellites. A few applications of remote sensing are:
- Finding out temperature changes in the ocean and air
- Tracking changes in forested land
- Making weather predictions
Google Earth is a map which gives three-dimensional views of the earth with the assistance of satellite imaging and other types of aerially conducted photography. Presently, Google Earth covers around 98% of the earth’s surface. Google earth doesn’t just cover land but also water. Through the use of Google Earth, it is possible to view below the surface of marine bodies and view the ocean floor by the method of bathymetry (study of the underwater depth of an ocean or lake floor).
Geographical Information System (GIS)
The Geographical Information System is a spatial system which creates, manages, analyzes, organizes and maps different types of geographic data. Using the GIS software, it is possible to visually analyze a large volume of data. Through the usage of GIS, it is possible to bring together and integrate information from varying sources of information and have efficient data distribution and management. It can be used efficiently for Environmental Impact Assessment.
The World Wide Web (WWW)
The WWW is a collection of many electronic documents of varying types. It provides various types of resources about the environment, from journal reports and articles to animations and is available to a wide variety of people, right from students, to scientists to government officials. It provides, free, convenient, accessible, evolving and the latest information.
ENVIS is a database known as the Environmental Information System. It was created by the Indian Ministry of Environment & Forests in 1983. Its goal is to collect environmental information, along with its subsequent organization, storage, recovery and distribution. The role of ENVIS is to provide people like policy makers, researchers and the like with environmental information.