GIS technology offers powerful possibilities to study and monitor global climate change using remotely sensed data. This article highlights the applications of GIS and spatial data in research on climate change.
The incessant rise of the average surface temperatures of the earth is a pressing matter for all. The global climate change is affecting the sea levels, human activities, and could lead to several natural hazards if it is left unchecked. It could cause long-term consequences such as poor air quality, diminished agricultural productivity, and increased heat strokes. GIS solutions are ideal to provide the experts with reliable data and information for monitoring such hazards and plan for the possible challenges.
Geographic information systems are being used by policymakers and researchers for gathering environment understanding, monitor climate change, predict natural disasters, and for strategic decision making. Spatial data helps professionals to study the vulnerabilities of climate change and implement operations to mitigate the hazards.
Applications of GIS in monitoring climate change
GIS technology collects data from various sources like satellite imagery and remote sensors and uses accurate maps for identifying environmental problems, establish connections between climate change and other hazards, and also to predict future transformations.
Spatial data can help researchers locate the places where the temperature is exceedingly high compared to the global average. They can create models and analyze how climate change will affect the ecology of different areas. The information helps to identify the evolving weather patterns and also analyze the risks to human life.
Recent times have seen an increasing incidence of extreme weather conditions like droughts, floods, and heat waves all of which are attributed to global warming. Using geospatial techniques, researchers can gather more insight into the connections between climate change and weather patterns and predict unfavorable incidents in advance. If extreme weather occurs, the satellite imagery and remote sensing data can support the authorities to chalk out hazard maps and identify the areas that are worst affected and need immediate attention.
Many authorities recognize the need for reducing the use of fossil fuels and establishing sustainable energy sources. It is understood that such steps can create a positive impact on climate change. GIS techniques help to reduce carbon footprints and shift to green energy. It can create impactful imagery on how power is being used and provide visibility into the natural resources available in an area. The GIS maps are more efficient in conveying the information to the public and policymakers.
GIS offers advanced analytical capabilities where researchers can store enormous volume of information about an ecosystem and study the associated vulnerabilities. Scientists can prioritize the areas based on their vulnerabilities and deal focus efforts on the hotspots.
However, while using GIS technology to collect minute details of an area, there are many privacy concerns that come into question. Data collection should be strictly in accordance with the privacy policies to prevent the possibility of misuse.
Earth’s climate is changing constantly due to a variety of natural and human influences. The effect of climate change is reflected in extreme weather, rising sea levels, and other natural hazards. GIS technology can play a vital role in collecting relevant spatial data, documenting, analyzing, monitoring, and predicting the impact of various human activities on climate change. Remote sensing and GIS techniques provide critical information required for taking advanced action against the hazards due to climate change.
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