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Climate Scientists and Researchers Empowered by Machine Vision and AI to Explore and Understand Ecological Impact and Recovery
The Study of Environmental Epidemiology, Toxicology, and Exposure Science Using AI and Machine Vision
Climate change is affecting us in every way. The planet is warming, weather patterns are becoming increasingly irregular, and there are more weather-related disasters now than ever before.
The environmental health industry is one of many industries trying to mitigate and reverse climate change. Environmental health is a public health discipline that focuses on how the natural and built environment affects human health. The industry seeks to understand not only how climate change affects us, but also how we can reverse or mitigate that change.
Machine Vision and AI Empowers Environmental Health Experts
Machine vision and artificial intelligence (AI) are helping experts understand the impacts of climate change in order to protect the planet and ourselves. AI is improving our ability to detect abrupt weather systems and alert us when a drought, cyclone, or atmospheric river (narrow pockets of atmosphere that carry water vapor outside tropical regions) is detected. By picking up on weather patterns before meteorologists can, AI gives us an upper hand against sudden natural disasters.
AI’s capacities are steadily increasing thanks to the available amount of data, satellites that accurately observe environmental patterns, quicker computers, and the availability of cheap storage.
Machine Vision and AI in Action
Machine vision and AI provide integral tools to assist environmental health experts in their research and analyses. One group of environmental health experts is using AI to research how Hurricane Maria affected the flora and fauna of Puerto Rico. The experts are using NASA’s machine vision to study how different trees fared in the aftermath of the hurricane.
Environmental epidemiologists will be able to use the conclusions of studies like these to analyze environmental health outcomes. Fewer trees in an area result in less CO2 being removed from the air, which in turn leads to more pollution harming those in the affected area. Environmental epidemiologists can use this data to provide better, more accurate information to governments and citizens alike.
AI and machine vision are also informing environmental health experts on how to improve the energy efficiency of cities. The AI analyzes data to forecast energy use, allowing environmental health experts and engineers to design more realistic zoning laws in order to increase energy efficiency.
AI and machine vision help environmental health experts study and analyze data at a scale that is not possible with human research alone. As the outcomes of climate change become increasingly concerning, AI and machine vision offer environmental health experts a valuable tool that can lead to more precise data which can help drive more reliable forecasts, and quicker environmental solutions.
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This content is part of the life sciences section of Vision Online. To learn more about Life Sciences, click here.