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Here’s How Data Science Can Help Fight Climate Change

Global warming is one of the biggest and most urgent problems facing our planet today. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are likely to rise to record levels in 2023, according to findings by the International Energy Agency (IEA). So, how is data science being used to tackle increasing environmental issues?

Warmer temperatures across the surface of the planet are changing weather patterns and disrupting the balance of nature. However, hope is not lost, and technological advancements are becoming the unlikely savior of the global climate problem. While climate tech, such as electric cars and solar panels, might come to mind, the role of data analytics in solving environmental challenges should not be underestimated.

Big data has been used to monitor and track changes worldwide for decades, and recently, data science has become crucial in the battle against the climate crisis. As sea levels rise and natural disasters increase, data sharing and Business Intelligence (BI) are increasingly vital for understanding important changes and addressing these issues.

At Astrato, we’re passionate about using data visualization for good. Our GoodViz data competitions focus on environmental and social data sets, and part of our mission is to amplify how ‘tech for good’ is a critical component of Business Intelligence for the future. In this article, we analyze the key ways that data analysis can and should be used to help reduce global warming and ensure a greener future.

How data sharing can help tackle climate change 

Across the globe, governments and businesses are using data science to monitor environmental issues and develop policies and roadmaps to support them. By sharing insight on carbon emissions, changing temperatures, and energy usage, organizations and governmental bodies can make more informed decisions to cut emissions and develop or optimize products and services which tackle the problems identified.

Legislation that requires companies and authorities to share data publicly can also help hold these businesses accountable to sustainability pledges. Organizations that have pledged to achieve net zero emissions are less likely to invest in environmentally damaging products, such as oil and gas, for example. This is partly because they know that this information could be circulated and potentially damage their reputation or undercut their legitimacy. 

Real-time data and predicting natural events 

When it comes to matters as urgent as climate change, fast decision-making is key, and real-time data can help. By delivering early warning signs or reliable predictions, real-time data analytics can ensure that people and organisations can prepare for – or even prevent – natural disasters and environmental problems before they occur.

Machine learning models can leverage real-time information from sensors collecting data on variables like rain and soil to provide predictive analysis on destructive events such as flooding, heatwaves, fires, and more. Ecologists can also use historical data to identify areas that can recover from severe drought and forest fire damage.

Self-service data makes data reporting accessible to all 

Self-service analytics is a form of BI which enables businesses to handle data visualization and reporting on their own, with minimal IT support. This allows for easy data conversations and makes data freely available across the organization. The ease of access means that even those who aren’t trained or have skills in data science or BI can use data to gain a greater understanding of climate change and environmental issues, among other things.

Self-service data analytics enables collaboration and allows enterprises – even those which don’t have large IT functions – to access data and draw meaningful insight. Through data analysis, a company could assess their carbon emissions, reduce their carbon footprint, and incorporate sustainable practices into the production process. 

The data science tools helping combat climate change  

There are many data tools and platforms helping businesses and governments stamp down on the climate crisis. Here are a few of them:

  • The Global Calculator – The Global Calculator is an open-source model of the world’s energy, land, and food systems that allows you to design your own version of the future up to 2050 and see the implications for the climate. Backed by the UK and with inputs from several research organizations, this calculator allows you to see what impact various technology, lifestyle, and land use choices have on the warming trajectory of the planet. This data-backed tool helps with climate awareness and education.
  • Climate Policy Radar – This is an AI/ machine learning tool that creates global climate policies and regulations. Climate Policy Radar enables authorities and policymakers to make more accurate decisions using data-driven tools for innovative, more accountable policy design. This technology could help build future-proof solutions for our planet.
  • The Bright Initiative – This program by Bright Data uses publicly available data to promote environmental protection and public well-being initiatives. The initiative supports Subak, a non-profit accelerator that scales climate impact through data, policy, and behavior change.
  • Vizlib – Vizlib helps solve critical problems using data visualization, enabling quicker, more accurate decision-making for teams and organizations across the globe. Improved data vision means improved insight and decision-making when it comes to tackling climate issues.

In conclusion, data analytics and reporting can be used to fight global warming in a number of ways. Deep learning enables the building of sustainable products, allowing businesses to assess their carbon footprint, helping with environmental policy creation, and empowering us to predict and prevent catastrophic events.

With Astrato, you can ensure your data is credible, easy to understand, and drive meaningful action. With the correct data, leadership teams receive the critical insights needed to make impactful decisions for your business, customers, and the broader society.

Interested in what Astrato can offer your business? Book a demo and try Astrato for yourself today