Protecting the environment is more important than ever, and new technologies are driving that effort. As it becomes clear that the environment is suffering, people have suggested different ways that we can combat the negative effects. Some people would suggest that we scale back on industry but that isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. Instead, we should be relying on science and technology to develop new ways of providing everything we need without damaging the environment. That process is already underway and new technologies are constantly being developed. Here are some of the most important ones at the moment.
A lack of clean drinking water is one of the greatest challenges that we face at the minute. When you say water shortage to somebody, they’ll likely picture third world countries, but this is a problem that is everywhere. You’ve probably heard about the recent water shortages that have been affecting California. There’s a huge surplus of water in the oceans, but the high salt levels make it undrinkable. However, scientists have developed a way of removing the salt from that water and making it drinkable. The only issue at the moment is that the process is incredibly expensive and time-consuming. Researchers are working on streamlining the process and hopefully, it will be practical by the time that water shortage becomes a huge worldwide issue.
Natural Disaster Forecasting
The most tangible effect of climate change is the increase in drastic weather and natural disasters. In order to reduce the impact of these events and make the world safer for everybody, we need to be able to predict when they’re going to hit.
Flooding in particular has been a problem over the past decade or so, but now software like HEC-RAS can accurately map the location of floodplains and the surrounding terrain. This helps to identify the areas that are most at risk from flood damage, and predict the likelihood of a flood happening. By using these preventative measures, we can stop people from getting injured.
The current technology is very adept at predicting events like hurricanes and tornados, but it is lacking in other areas. Researchers are currently working to improve their ability to foresee earthquakes. These can be the most destructive natural disasters so it’s vital we get better at avoiding them.
Hydrogen Fuel Cells
Everybody knows that petrol and diesel engines give out emissions that damage the environment, so we need an alternative. Electric cars are improving dramatically and they do offer a better alternative to petrol engines. Unfortunately, they still require a lot of electricity and that energy is often produced using fossil fuels.
The ideal solution is hydrogen fuel cells. Hydrogen fuel cells make water by combining hydrogen and oxygen and generate electricity in the process. The only waste product is water so they don’t damage the environment whatsoever. The only problem is, getting the hydrogen in the first place requires a lot of energy and that energy is usually dirty. Scientists have managed to make efficient fuel cells that can power small devices like laptops, but cars and everything else is still a few years off.
Ocean Thermal Energy
When the technology is streamlined, it will surely make up a huge proportion of our energy because it doesn’t have the same space limitations that mainland solar energy has.
Solar power isn’t the only way that we can harness the power of the ocean to create clean energy. There is already a huge amount of power in the tides of the ocean and if we make good use of it, there is almost no limit to the amount of energy that we can produce from it. By directing the waves into turbines that create electricity, we can produce huge amounts of energy that doesn’t damage the environment in any way. This technology is already in use in a lot of river dams but it is now being rolled out across the ocean. Portugal has already implemented it in a big way and they estimate that around 1500 homes can be powered by it.
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