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Muqbil Ahmar

Muqbil Ahmar writes on culture and poetry. He is a writer and theater activist, who wants to bring about harmony and amicability in the present day society. Music, poetry and good food are his passions.

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World Environment Day: Modern Technologies like Big Data Can Help Reduce Pollution

Modern technologies can provide rare insights and help in our fight to conserve the environment and reduces mankind’s carbon footprint, provided they are leveraged properly.

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Global warming, climate change, and environmental degradation confront mankind, although it’s another matter that US President Donald Trump trashes all evidence and has pulled the USA out of the Paris Climate Accord. NASA—also part of the United States—figures point out globally temperatures have increased by over 1 degree since 1880; also, 9 out of the 10 hottest years occurred after 2000. By 2012, Arctic ice shrank to the lowest level. Internationally, sea levels are going up at 3.4 mm per year. It is just a matter of time before human habitation, particularly in the coastal areas, starts getting submerged.

In India too, there is an environmental crisis looming in front of us. Air pollution levels continue to be hazardous, particularly in cities. Particulate matter keeps rising. Delhi smog was the most alarming example of threats posed to humanity due to environmental degradation and pollution. Air pollution far exceeded hazardous levels. A World Health Organization (WHO) report of 1,600 cities ranked Delhi—the national capital—as the most polluted. Air pollution was around 40 times higher than permissible limits of the WHO and 15 times higher than Indian standards.

Big Data technology can curb pollution

Big Data is a name given to huge and complex data sets that cannot be processed by conventional methods. Big Data tools process the data sets to discover patterns and correlations, in order to gain meaningful insights and provide actionable inputs. The cutting-edge tech uses mathematical tools and algorithms to parse trends as well as make predictions. Let’s find out how Big Data applications can help mankind in its struggle to save the environment.

To leverage Big Data, sophisticated sensors need to be put up at strategic locations, yielding data on parameters impacting pollution levels. With sensors are becoming increasingly affordable, such a strategy is achievable. The tools analyze data gathered by sensors to monitor pollution. Data include demographics, weather station inputs, all of which can be a treasure of information.

Let me give you a more tangible example. If sensors detect increasing pollution in specific areas, the data inputs can be used to divert traffic to areas that are less polluted and congested. Similarly, there could be other responses: more medical staff could be allocated to areas with higher influx of patients with respiratory problems and diseases. Thus, the problem can be managed in real time. Similarly, sensor-enabled street lights can be self-adjusting to the number of people present.

“Big Data and Predictive Analytics can predict situations and consequences, thus leading to data-driven decisions which are made in time and thus disasters are avoided,” said Shashank Dixit, CEO, Deskera, a global leader in cloud technology that has developed a Big Data tool.

Modern technologies can provide rare insights and help in our fight to conserve the environment and reduces mankind’s carbon footprint, provided they are leveraged properly.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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