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Role of Technology in Climate Change

  • Ayush Singh Rawat
  • Dec 01, 2021
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People can live more comfortably and conveniently as a result of emerging technologies. Taking a car is faster and more convenient than walking or riding a bicycle. 


When this contemporary technology was established, people began to shift their modes of transportation from riding a horse to using the train; people began to adapt their behaviours to become more reliant on new technology.


However, because modern technology is mostly powered by fossil fuels, the more we use it, the more carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming


People used to prefer traditional technology, which is mostly run by human and animal muscles and emits less carbon dioxide than newer technology. This article looks at how current technology is used in building and how it affects global warming.



The Climate Change Problem


There have been significant increases in the concentrations of "greenhouse gases" (GHGs) in the atmosphere over the last 150 years, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O), as well as a group of industrial GHGs such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) (SF6). 


Greenhouse gases contribute to climate change by trapping heat in the atmosphere, which raises the global average temperature. 


This, in turn, affects precipitation patterns and intensity, as well as air and ocean current movements throughout the world, all of which have a direct or indirect impact on climate (defined as the average weather in a region over a period of several decades).


The crux of the climate change problem is that, if current patterns continue, future global greenhouse gas emissions will rise dramatically in the next decades as a result of population expansion, economic development, and other factors that enhance GHG emissions.  As a result, by the end of the century, the average global temperature is expected to rise by 1.1°C to 6.4°C (IPCC, 2007). 


While such estimates are fraught with uncertainty, the possible consequences of global warming might put human health, water supply, agriculture, and human settlements in jeopardy—particularly in coastal regions exposed to sea level rise and storms (IPCC, 2007b; NRC, 2010b).


Many of the technologies we use on a daily basis utilise far more resources and power than they should, and their usage and manufacture may cause havoc. 


Here are a few examples of how technology may be harmful to the environment:


  • Pollution - Producing and utilising technology may pollute the air, water, heat, and noise.


  • Consumption of resources - Technology is made with nonrenewable resources, such as precious metals like gold. Many others, like coal, are used to create power for technological purposes. 


Even certain renewable energy resources, such as trees and water, are being polluted or depleted quicker than they can be replenished due to technological advancements.


  • Waste - Manufacturing technology generates a lot of waste, and as computers and gadgets malfunction or become old, they're thrown out. 


These devices, dubbed "technotrash," contain a variety of dangerous elements that are extremely harmful to the environment. They must be disposed of in a certain manner.


  • Ecological disruption - Clearing land where animals formerly lived to build industries and allowing pollutants to infiltrate the food chain may have a significant impact on the natural cycles of the ecosystem.


  • Health risks - Using hazardous chemicals that are harmful to human health can lead to cancer, and technology addiction can lead to obesity and carpal tunnel syndrome, among other health issues.


You can help manufacturers by purchasing more energy-efficient and less dangerous devices and supporting businesses that prioritise environmental protection. 


You may also help to lessen environmental effects by not being wasteful and properly disposing of your electronic garbage.


(Related blog: What is Clean Energy?)



How can technology fight climate change?


Artificial intelligence of things (AIoT) technologies are critical for addressing some of the issues around carbon control. 


To make carbon management more efficient, transparent, and successful, there are three key areas of attention.

Three areas of technology by which it can combat climate change are; a) AIoT b) Abatement intelligence c) Carbon offsetting and offset integration.

Three areas of technology helping in climate change

  1. AIoT – measurement and reporting integration


With a plethora of databases and systems associated with various carbon-producing assets, the amount of time and effort necessary to merely categorise and organise data from several business units and assets is enormous. 


AIoT connection enables real-time activity level data and asset inventory data to be sourced from a number of systems in a seamless manner. 


This enables an organisation to organise, gather, and turn data into reports for accurate emissions monitoring and measurement, lowering total data collecting efforts and improving data quality and report resolution.



  1. Abatement intelligence – predictive analytics to simulate emissions over time


The absence of precise metrics for estimating the emissions arising from specific activities makes abatement planning difficult. 


This problem is addressed by AIoT technology, which generates insights from real-time data through predictive analytics in order to better forecast process emissions.


AIoT can improve the performance evaluation of abatement methods and optimise emissions estimates by analysing and learning from data from numerous operations. 


This system not only optimises abatement procedures, but it also decreases total marginal abatement costs.



  1. Carbon offsetting and offset integration


Although purchasing is a last choice, the carbon offset market is critical to governments and organisations reaching worldwide net-zero emissions objectives, with an estimated addressable market size of $200 billion by 2050


However, the sector is beset by issues such as carbon offsetting certification and market difficulties. Technology can facilitate near-real-time REC validation and provide a marketplace for low-cost, quick carbon offsets. 


For example, offset integration would offer a business with a worldwide pool of offsets, easing trade and emissions planning, decreasing administrative burden, and optimising the timings of REC purchases and retirement.


The technology can actively control and reduce carbon emissions, allowing governments and companies to meet their net-zero commitments. Carbon management solutions will be a vital aspect of emission reductions, driven by strong political, social, and economic objectives. 


Real-time measurement, abatement, and offset integration will allow organisations not only speak the talk, but actually walk the walk and accomplish their net-zero objectives in a transparent manner. 


(Suggested blog: Advantages of Solar Energy)





Collaborations like this will be critical to making progress on climate change and the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) in general. 


The examples provided in this article show that there is growing impetus in the ICT sector to address the climate challenge. However, collaborative efforts will need to be scaled up and expedited to reach the amount of progress to combat climate changes.


To that aim, the Digital with a Purpose study urges the ICT industry to be more inclusive, ambitious, and open about its impacts, as well as to include a shared purpose as it proposes a set of universal obligations for all companies and individuals, as well as a prominent role for the ICT industry.

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