Climate change drastically impacts the world around us. Throughout the last 70 years, atmospheric carbon dioxide has been increasing at an unprecedented rate, causing the Earth to get warmer.
This has drastically impacted our living environment, leading to shrinking ice sheets, rising sea levels, and more frequent high-temperature extreme events.
If we continue to ignore these signs, these conditions will only worsen. According to the World Wilde Life Fund by 2050, rising sea levels could affect 1 billion people, the Arctic sea could be ice-free, and extreme heatwaves could occur every 5 years.
The only way to combat climate change is to alter the way we live drastically, which means that science and technology experts must continue to be at the forefront.
Scientists, engineers, and developers, as well as other tech experts, are capable, creative minds who have the ability to revolutionize the way we live — just take the internet as an example.
Furthermore, the tech industry has already begun to help lead the charge to change. Their innovative ideas can only continue to make a difference. Whether it’s through social activism apps or new clean energy technology, here are a few ways that science and technology can fight climate change.
Social Activism and Eco-Friendly Apps
Software developers have the power and knowledge to develop apps and programs that directly impact how we interact with one another. Through their creations, we can communicate better, change our habits, and access important information. After all, one of the greatest ways to tackle climate change is to find ways for people to better understand how their actions impact the environment and what they can do to make changes.
NASA created the Earth Now app to serve as an educational tool for students to learn about the current conditions of the planet. The free app dives into specifics such as carbon dioxide conditions and the ozone levels over Antarctica, which easily breaks down the Earth’s environmental conditions.
Software developers have also created programs and apps that monitor one’s environmental footprint. One example is the LiveGreen Daily Carbon tracker, which uses data collected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, University of Oxford, and the University of California, Berkley to track and analyze things like car trips or utilities.
Lastly, people in tech have also created apps for social activists and people who want to begin to take action toward ending climate change. The UN Climate Change and #climate app are just a few examples that allow people to turn their passion for environmental activism into physical action by bringing them together with other like-minded individuals.
Clean Energy Technology
Clean energy technology serves as an alternative energy solution for essentials such as electricity, heat, and fuel. Rather than using fossil fuels for everyday tasks, like turning on lights or driving a car, clean energy technology uses renewable sources.
Researchers and mechanical engineers are constantly finding ways to make more efficient technology that can one day become a more viable and permanent replacement for fossil fuels.
At MIT, researchers have been looking at ways to use wave energy to create a new form of alternative energy. According to an article by MIT News, the energy made by waves could serve as a better alternative energy solution than current methods — which primarily consists of wind and solar energy — because it offers a consistent source of energy as well as greater energy density.
In addition, the Biden administration has made a point to address climate change, citing an executive order that would invest more time and money into clean energy.
“President Biden set ambitious goals that will ensure America and the world can meet the urgent demands of the climate crisis while empowering American workers and businesses to lead a clean energy revolution that achieves a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and puts the United States on an irreversible path to a net-zero economy by 2050,” according to the press release.
Addressing Climate Change Starts Now
At the pace that the climate is changing, more serious efforts are needed to address climate change. Small changes and habits can definitely help limit global warming, but more dramatic changes are needed as well.
Historically, technology has shown to dramatically change the human experience. Therefore, if the world wants to take on climate change, then technology has to be a primary component in the path to a more sustainable future. Not only can new technology help create alternative forms of energy, but it can also be a tool for communication and changing habits.
Scientists, engineers, developers, and more will continue to be some of the most important jobs in the next century. Not only do these careers have the ability to drastically advance how people live, but their work — which is constantly seeing improvements in efficiency and production — can provide the most direct path toward a more eco-friendly future.
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Sophia Acevedo is a journalist based in Southern California. She is a 2020 graduate from California State University, Fullerton, and a proud Daily Titan alum.