People have started to come up with new solutions to reduce their CO2 emissions, some prefer to wear an extra coat instead of turning on the heat and others prefer to leave their car home and walk to work. But, people have the tendency to forget that technology can have a major impact on CO2 reduction. Why is this happening? It’s simple, for people it is clear that if they walk they generate no emissions. However, when it comes to the energy their tech devices consume, they don’t find it as obvious.
We should all be in the pursuit of advanced tech and reduced energy consumption. And it may sound surprising but coders have a colossal role in fighting climate change.
But what is climate change?
We have introduced the subject of the fight, coders should take part in without explaining what it implies. People should not mistake climate change for global warming; global warming is the factor that leads to climate change. Because the temperature is rising constantly, the climate has started to suffer variations. The Earth has experienced numerous climate changes during different areas, but it’s alarming that the cycles have never been so fast. It took millions of years for the Earth to reach a point that extinct dinosaurs, but nowadays in just around 200 years, it reached a point that brought us closer to our extinction.
So, you may ask yourself…
How can a coder reduce climate change effects?
You may find hard to believe that a computer scientist can contribute to the fight to lower the climate change effects. The truth is that they can help in numerous ways.
Develop software for climate scientists
Let’s start by saying that most of the tools climate scientists are using are not designed by coders, so they lack numerous features and tools that could help professionals to identify, analyze, and solve the problems that are leading to the current situation. Climate scientists know what tools they need, and they’ve tried to create them, but they have no knowledge in software engineering, therefore some of the tools their systems feature are not even tested.
It’s a miracle that they were able to write their own codes and come up with software that can assist them in tracking climate changes. There are certain domains like mathematics and bioinformatics in which experts can write their own code because that have basic knowledge in IT, but atmospheric physics is not one of them. So, this is only one of the ways in which a coder can help climate science, they can write and execute code that can deliver software that is able to preserve and even improve the climate.
Climate scientists need programs that use the data they gather to simulate climate change, and programmers can step in and develop the systems they need to handle the massive information they use. Many of the experiments they conduct are unique, so they need tools that allow them to customize data and features from a project to another. At the moment there is no system that can effectively analyze and process the data scientists gather. They have limited ways to engage with the data and create experiments.
Develop software for public education
Energy researchers state that educational software is one of the best ways to inform the public on their impact on climate change. They think that making people aware of their responsibility is essential in creating a cleaner world. The first step would be for mobile devices manufacturers to create educational apps for energy, people can easily access. This would require coders to focus on creating programs people find intuitive to use, during the development process. Some apps that could help people track their impact on the environment are:
- An app that tracks the electricity consumption of a building on a determined basis
- An app that shows the greenhouse gas emissions every state, city, and neighborhood has monthly
- An app that comes up with alternative solutions for the users who want to cut their household energy consumption
- An app that allows users to track their individual impact on climate change
Reduce the amount of energy coding requires
Coding is a process that consumes energy, and software developers should not ignore this problem. The way they write code can reduce energy consumption and fight climate change. They should start by reducing null checking and spaghetti code because they consume more energy than the coding process would require. Cleaner code is simpler to maintain. The companies specialized in enterprise mobile applications development should focus on creating sustainable code, code that is efficient, simple and easy to read. A solution is to write negative code, a strategy that implies cutting down the lines of code in a program while the coder boosts its sustainability and quality. Another solution is code refactoring, a strategy that allows users to maintain external behavior while they change the code.
Develop predictive software with the help of machine learning
Climate specialists state that programs that can track trends and analyze data to make decisions and predictions are highly needed in the climate science area. They are not afraid to say that this one of the most scrutinized solutions in climate change at the moment. All the features this type of software can come up with would prove highly beneficial for the planet. But because the software has to deliver results with virtually no mistake, it’s almost impossible to create one without using machine learning. Some experts even state that it would be fool move from developers’ part to try to create this type of system, and they should better look for a way to use machine learning to create systems that learn automatically.
Climate scientists state that now it’s impossible to take into consideration all the variables the climate has. The only software that can evolve together with the changes in the clime can prove useful. A system that can learn by itself according to the data it receives. Predictive software is a great advancement, but climate scientists wait for the day when coders can come up with a version that is able to learn on its own.