Big Data and Environmental Protection

Today, Big Data is growing at a fast rate. You will be surprised to know that the market which helps to harness and manage the data is expected to grow from nearly $122 billion in 2015 to more than $187 billion in 2020.

Undoubtedly, Big Data is such a revolutionary technology. Big Data not only focuses on bringing new changes in the IT industry, Businesses, Telecom industry, Automobile industry, but it also looks after our environment. Yes, it contributes a lot to the protection of the environment.

In earlier days, environmental data came from the individual scientists out in the field. It was a slow process that took many months or years in analysis and still not providing useful information in many cases. But with Big Data, that same information is gathered much faster, which leads to its rapid implementation.

Big data is extremely versatile in fulfilling the necessity for different environmental needs. It can be used to monitor a vast forest area, it can monitor a small city’s water supply, etc. Big Data also brings two important traits for enhancing environmental protection.

  • Firstly, it allows entities to gather more and more data.
  • Secondly, it increases the speed and ease of obtaining data.

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Copernicus – Green Data generating Model in Europe

The greatest challenge we are facing today is Climate change. And to reduce this, Big Data is helping us to understand all its complex interrelationships. The application of Big Data, which is used to curb global warming, is known as green data.

Europe has different green data generating models, and Copernicus is one of them. It is the satellite-based Earth observation programming model. It is capable of calculating air quality, rising temperatures, etc.

Copernicus provides critical information that helps in optimizing water resource management, air quality, biodiversity, fishing, and agriculture.

Other international projects that use Green Data to combat climate changes are

  • Global Forest Change: Using high-resolution satellite imagery to calculate the rate of deforestation by counting the trees one by one.
  • Aqueduct: Making interactive risk maps available to the public, measuring water-related hazards, and analyzing water quality and quantity.
  • Danger Map: Determining the pollution by mapping the data provided by millions of citizens.

Big Data in Migration of Birds

The journey of migrating birds is fraught with human-made danger like- hunting, fishing, air pollution, etc. But with the help of Big Data, Scientists can mitigate some of these dangers. This can be done by analyzing the time or period when the birds will take flight. Algorithms are prepared on the basis of migratory patterns of birds.

By taking advantage of more than two decades of radar, one forecast model was developed. This model explains more than 80% of the variance in bird migration patterns. This information helps scientists to have an idea of when the birds will need protection from human-made danger.

Big Data And Renewable Energy – How Big Data strengthen the renewable energies

  • Wind Power – The complex algorithms used to construct the predictive models of wind conditions helps to determine the amount of energy that is going to be produced.
  • Photovoltaic Energy – Big Data allows power stations to adapt the luminous intensity at any given moment. And thus helps to optimize its efficiency.
  • Hydroelectric Power – Big data systems help to avoid leaks in the power plants and having greater control over water flows.

Let us discuss areas that require the most immediate concern of Big Data for protecting our environment.

Areas which require the most immediate concern of Big Data

1. Oil Dumping

The New York Times recently published a story about one of the city’s departments using Big Data to catch the restaurant that was illegally dumping cooking oil down the drains. Similarly, environmental issues in cities throughout the country can also be controlled with the help of Big Data.

2. Residential Water Waste

Generally, in residential areas, people use too much water for watering lawns and gardens. And this results in unnecessary wastage of water. Wasting water is something most cities can’t afford.

Big data can be used to collect information about water usage in each residential area of the city. Based on which one can easily calculate: what is the average amount of water put out on your lawn each hour? How much does your lawn need? How much water is going to waste?.

This will help to control the water crisis.

3. Deforestation

Deforestation is amongst one of the most significant concerns for the environment. Thousands of trees and forests are destroyed every day. It not only harms the trees but also affects the lives of animals.

Big Data can provide alternative solutions to the immense tree-cutting done every day. These solutions will help to lower the carbon footprint of humans and reduce deforestation.

4. Poaching

Poaching is another serious environmental issue throughout the world. Especially in Africa, poaching results in the death of thousands of animals each day. In Africa, elephants are vulnerable; many elephants lost their lives because of poaching.

With the help of Big data, trouble areas, and animals can be pinpointed, and appropriate actions can be taken to prevent poaching.

5. Endangered Species

Due to deforestation, air pollution, water pollution, etc. plants and animals lose their natural habitat. When a forest is razed, animals and plants also get destroyed. By implementing Big Data, companies can effectively monitor endangered species. Information is gathered, and plans are created to preserve the species.


Climate change is continuously becoming a concern for the whole World. There are a number of parts of the world that are responsible for contributing to climate change.

According to research, urban areas account for 97% of the contributions to climate change. Some experts have declared that climate problems may become irreversible if we are unable to reserve the problems within the next 12 years.

But, there is no denying the fact that Big Data can deal with this problem. It helped scientists to get a better understanding of the climate crisis and to identify new solutions. Big data helps to manage natural resources and to protect them from getting extinct.

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