Climate change is one of the burning environmental crisis which the world is facing today. According to scientists, we just have a span of a few years to reverse the effects of climate change and global warming before irreparable damage occurs. Drones, the new age solution to almost every problem can come into good use to fight this life-threatening battle as well. Drop in the bee population, filtering the air, tracking wildlife and marine life, and much more. Drones can handle all of it very efficiently.
These are a few ways drones can help:
Drones are perfect data collectors. They have earlier helped scientists determine the exact demographics of destructive rat population and also predict avalanches by terrain study. Given their capabilities, they can reach remote places where humans can’t easily tread, thus reducing research costs and increasing the accuracy of data collection. Another great example of drone usage is by the Researchers at Cornell University. They have used drones to measure how much sunlight is absorbed and reflected by a landscape. This data can extensively help forest planners decide where to plant trees and understand climate change better.
Apart from that, drones can collect data on worsening air quality in cities, monitoring wildlife activities and population from a safe distance and calculate deforestation rates. Using drones instead of other aerial vehicles, like helicopters and planes, is not only safer for researchers but also for the wildlife.
Marine life is equally important for the sustainability of the ecosystem. Underwater drones can collect water and sediment samples, monitor the depleting corals and other marine population and also keep an eye on illegal poaching/overfishing.
With all this data in hand, we can deploy optimum counter-measures to be taken to reduce the impact of climate change on our planet.
Drones can plant trees and (almost) replace bees
We lose an approximate of 80,000-160,000 trees globally, every day. To combat deforestation it is essential to plant more trees than the ones being cut. That’s where drones can lend a helping hand. Drones like the ones made by BioCarbon Engineering can plant trees into the soil while being in an aerial orientation. They shoot pellets containing seeds into the earth and then monitor their growth over a prolonged period of time. Ten such drones can plant 400,000 trees in a day which is enough to combat climate change in real-time. Each drone can plant trees at an astounding rate of 120 trees per minute which is much higher compared to human planters. More trees would drastically slow down global warming, improve water and air quality and prevent erosion.
Bees, often forgotten, are one of the most important species on Earth. According to Albert Einstein, “If the bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years left to live.” These tiny insects are the primary transporters of pollen which help in pollination and thus sustain the natural environment. Unfortunately, the bee population is declining quickly, resulting in passive stagnation of crop growth.
Plan Bee, a pollination drone developed by a student, Anna Haldewang, can pollinate crops by hovering over them. When the hand-sized drone hovers over a flower, it sucks in pollen through tiny holes mounted all over it and then sprays it across other crops. More and more companies are patenting similar technologies in a bid to support the plummeting bee population.
Drones can reduce air pollution
Drones are said to take over the logistics sector in the next decade. By using drones to deliver products and goods instead of trucks and other vehicles, it will reduce the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Amazon, Vodafone, and many other companies have begun trials of their drone delivery services. Rwanda’s Zipline drones already have a robust drone delivery framework in place.
Many cities like Bangkok are turning towards these UAVs to clear smog from the skies. Bangkok’s anti-pollution drones spray the polluted air with water and a special solution to reduce PM 2.5 particles, thereby decreasing pollution.
Moreover, even transport using drones is taking shape swiftly. The Chinese company Ehang, launched the first-ever drone taxi which can transport people. Another company called Alaka’i Technologies introduced Skai, the first hydrogen-powered 5-seater drone. Although transport through UAVs may take some time to be publically implemented, it can cut down on emissions from vehicles entirely.
If used to maximum potential, the UAV industry can turn climate change right around in a matter of five years. In the 21st century, there is hardly anything that cannot be achieved through the means of technology. Therefore, these four-rotor machines may have a vital answer to most, if not all, climate change problems.