Earth Day 2019: How Tech Can Fight Climate Change and Improve Sustainability

Posted by Flatiron School  /  April 22, 2019

Tech is shaping the world around us and our future. Whether it’s climate change or waste management, tech’s solving some of the world’s biggest problems. To celebrate Earth Day 2019, here are a few ways technology is helping to make the world a better place — both for today and tomorrowClimate change models need millions of data points spanning centuries to identify Earth’s temperature trends. NASA recently reported 2018 was the fourth-warmest year since 1880. The space agency collects data from 6,300 weather stations, Antarctic research stations, and sea surface temperature observations to determine the surface temperature for a given year.

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To make sense of it all, NASA uses data science. “These raw measurements are analyzed using an algorithm that considers the varied spacing of temperature stations around the globe and urban heat island effects that could skew the conclusions,” according to NASA. Data science can also further improve current climate models. For example, Georgia Tech researchers are creating data mining methodologies that can help scientists identify warming trends. Georgia Tech researchers are already using the methodology to measure sea surface temperatures. Columbia University has a great list of ways artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to predict tropical cyclones, areas of potential poaching, and map the damage caused by hurricanes.If you want something more practical for Earth Day, there are apps that can help you live a more sustainable life. Farmers in India, for example, have used AI for fertilizer application and to identify ideal sowing dates leading to a 30 percent increase in groundnut production per hectare. AI can also be used to integrate more renewable energy into an electrical grid. Oroeco gamifies sustainability. The app helps your track and reduce your carbon footprint while helping you save money. There’s also a leaderboard where you can share your stats across social media. TheGoodGuide reviews products by analyzing their ingredients, to help you make informed purchasing decisions. If you want to reduce your water usage, there’s the Dropcountr app.You can even help NASA track how carbon moves through ecosystems by taking photos of trees.

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Behind these reports, interactive websites, and apps are data scientists, software engineers, and UX/UI designers. Front-end and back-end engineers are working to make websites functional. Data scientists and analysts are making troves of collected information actionable. UX/UI designers are ensuring users can have the best experience possible.Flatiron School has already helped alumni plant seeds of change in the tech industry. We encourage you to explore our immersive Software Engineering, Data Science, and UX/UI Design programs for Earth Day. Together, we can make the world a better place.