The Internet of Things and Climate Change

  • {{"article.by"|translate}} Mila Velkovska
  • {{"article.posted"|translate}} 23-12-2020

The Internet of Things and Climate Change



Using digital technology and converting information into a digital format isn’t something new. Moreover, digitalization has already been widespread throughout the world. It is not only an option, but a necessity for companies to provide a competitive advantage, and for individuals to complete their everyday activities more efficiently and more effectively.

Using digital technology and converting information into a digital format isn’t something new. Moreover, digitalization has already been widespread throughout the world. It is not only an option, but a necessity for companies to provide a competitive advantage, and for individuals to complete their everyday activities more efficiently and more effectively. The more research and development sector grows, the more natural resources are being used. Therefore, these processes somehow threaten the environment. The current global goal is to adapt existing and emerging technologies to satisfy both companies’ and customers’ needs, with minimal or no impact on the environment.

Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the enabling technologies of Industry 4.0. Simply said, the IoT technology is supported by a lot of interconnected devices, networks that enable the connection and a large amount of data being collected, stored and processed.  


The relationship between IoT and Climate Change encounters opposing ideas and viewpoints. Although technology development leads to a better society and a brighter future, its very application also leads to negative environmental impact. 

Smart devices, supported exactly by IoT, have some features that enable real-time reaction to the real world and prediction of users’ needs. These devices are characterized by a complex structure and most of the time they function without human intervention, although, it is not fully excluded. The use of smart devices can help to sense, detect and monitor some physical parameters that impact the environment. In addition to monitoring present, or detecting a possible future condition, indirect impacts can also be measured, such as wind speed, sea level, condition of lakes and rivers.

Monitoring itself provides a clear overview of the condition in order to take corrective, or even better, preventive measures when necessary. This monitoring type overcomes the shortcomings of the traditional approach-data collected by humans, such as the required time, overwork, hard-to-reach areas and the high cost of monitoring devices.

However, as it has already been said, not everything is perfect. Many electronic devices contain harmful and toxic substances that affect both human health and the environment. Improper disposal of e-waste contributes to rapid CC, as its combustion releases huge amount of harmful gases. According to The Global E-Waste Monitor 2020, 53.6 million tons of e-waste were generated in 2019, which is the biggest number ever recorded. Furthermore, if the production and application of smart devices continues to grow without paying attention to their lifespan, it is considered that the waste generated by them can reach 74 million tons by 2030-a double increase compared to 2014.

Air pollution is caused by the release of large amounts of harmful gases in the atmosphere. Polluted air adversely affects living organisms, and GHGs that remain in the atmosphere cause global warming. Global warming, caused by the increased greenhouse effect, is leading to rapid climate change. Water pollution is also mainly caused by human’s activities. Natural resources are consumed faster than they can be replenished...Environmental awareness, environmental protection and finding ways to mitigate climate change are essential!

                                                                                   IoT and CC

Positive relationship

Negative relationship

Smart grids help to regulate CO2 emissions.

The flow of a large amount of data results in high power consumption.

Smart and connected devices help not to use water unnecessarily.

More e-waste is being generated.

Smart and connected devices help not to use electricity unnecessarily.

Data centers are increasingly consuming energy and emitting greenhouse gases.

Smart devices placed in forests are able to detect unexpected activity or illegal deforestation.

Huge utilization of raw materials to manufacture any device supported by IoT.

Sensors provide smart maintenance and greater lifespan of the equipment-detecting and alerting possible damage before it occurs.

Smart traffic management leads to reduced vehicle emissions.

In order to develop the smart world sustainably, it is necessary to reduce power consumption and GHGs emission. However, not only usage is important. More attention should be paid to the lifespan of electronic devices supported by IoT. Green design, green production and green disposal should be developed.

The main goal is to include environmental awareness throughout the whole lifecycle of a product.

Mila Velkovska

Graduated mechanical engineer, currently a postgraduate student at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering-Skopje, UKIM. Shows particular interest in research in the field of securing a green future, optimized processes and a better society for all, by linking technological development and digitalization tools with sustainable development, new environmental concepts and climate change.

{{"article.trending"|translate}}

{{"article.lastestPosts"|translate}}

Tags

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter for good news, sent out every month.

{{"successful.subscription"| translate}}

{{subscriber.subscriber.email}}

{{"thank.you.for.subscription"|translate}}

{{'subscribe.for.newsletter'|translate}}

Account

Error message here!

Show Error message here!

Forgot your password?

Register your new account

Error message here!

Error message here!

Show Error message here!

Error message here!

Error message here!

Error message here!

Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link to create a new password.

Error message here!

Back to log-in

Close