Can the Internet of Things turn back climate change?

The Internet of Things is set to revolutionize most industries, installing sensors to capture and analyze more data, which will hopefully make them more efficient, smarter, and less polluting.

In a new post, We Forum suggests that IoT will provide the means to detect illegal logging in areas like the Amazon rainforest, ensuring that deforestation is stopped before it is too late.

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Rainforest Connection, a San Francisco-based startup, is already attempting to stop illegal logging by transforming recycled cellphones into listening devices. The cellphones are attached to trees, and able to hear deforestation from a long distance. Once heard, it alerts the central hub and Amazon rainforest authorities can catch the illegal loggers.

Stopping deforestation in the Amazon rainforest can reduce the change in our climate, but the Amazon requires decades of conservation and re-planting to help fight against the effects of climate change.

One active way to reduce the amount of pollution in the air is more public-private partnerships, according to We Forum, like IBM’s China Research Lab that is building an air quality forecasting system, for better analysis on where the most polluted areas in Beijing are located.

The Chinese government is doing its part to incentivize everyone in the country to go green. In 2015, it added 15 gigawatts of solar energy, four gigawatts more than Japan and double the amount of the United States. A decent chunk of that additional capacity comes from the industry. Apple and Foxconn recently announced a plan to power factories with renewable energy in the near future.

IoT can also help rural impact on climate change

Stepping away from the industry titans, IoT might also be able to lower climate change in rural areas. Giving farmers sensors and connected devices might remove most of the guesswork with pesticides, fertilizer, and water amounts, helping farmers get a reliable and efficient harvest. Weather forecasting systems will also help farmers plant the necessary amount and prepare for disasters like drought or floods.

We’re already seeing proof of smart cities adopting some weather forecasting and air quality technologies, to make sure there city is sticking to clean energy and air quality policies.

The next step is reversing the impacts of climate change over the past fifty years. That will require a good amount of tree re-planting and a focus on keeping pollution to a minimum, incentivizing industries to use renewable energy where possible.

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