Robots help scientists study Arctic climate change

Advanced machines perform conventional work tasks, minimizing injuries and increasing efficiency.

Photo: Pixabay/12019

As ecological awareness increases globally, environmental engineers and scientists are developing technologies that improve sustainability. The devices reduce pollution either directly or by expanding climate research. Professionals use this ecological data to implement regulations that preserve natural resources and ecosystems.

Society can identify the most significant impacts of climate change through research in the Arctic. Researchers can use environmental robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to explore the changes taking place. They can use their findings to prevent further ice loss, protecting arctic species and natural resources.

Advanced robots are autonomous devices that minimize human effort. These machines perform conventional work tasks, minimizing injuries and increasing efficiency. Robots perform physical tasks and AI is the computing power they contain. AI mimics human functions and learns from experience.

Environmentalists use the technology to monitor the effects of climate change and reduce pollution.

Scientists are implementing technology in arctic research to assess human-induced environmental changes. Professionals are concerned about the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on cold weather conditions. When society releases emissions into the environment, they limit the temperature regulating capabilities of the atmosphere.

Naturally, the atmosphere attracts infrared radiation and produces heat, warming the Earth’s surface. Then it collects additional energy and sends it into space, reducing overheating. Tight gases change the process by retaining excess energy in the environment. Over time, emissions increase global temperature, creating adverse effects.

As the Earth warms, glaciers shrink and sea levels rise. The effect of climate change causes coastal erosion, increasing biodiversity loss. When glaciers degrade, arctic animals suffer from habitat and natural resources exhaustion.

The loss of ice also causes acidification of the oceans and an increase in forest fires. Ecological researchers are using robotics and AI to study changes in the Arctic and improve conservation efforts.

NASA and the Saildrone Arctic Project

NASA researchers use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to explore arctic conditions at surface level. They teamed up with Saildrone, a drone manufacturing company, to conduct an exploration project. Saildrones are small sailboat-like devices powered by solar and wind power.

The Arctic has warmed twice as fast as the surrounding environments during the last decades. Researchers are using drones to examine the impacts of excessive heating on glaciers and arctic ecosystems. Saildrones collect data on sea surface temperatures, water salinity levels, ocean stratification and currents.

It is difficult for humans to collect this information due to freezing temperatures and minimal resources. The devices use a satellite connection to relay data to remote researchers. Saildrones protect workers and the environment.

Another tech-driven project predicts ice loss with AI. A team of British researchers created the IceNET system to track melting patterns. After assessing current levels of glacier depletion, technology can determine future amounts of ice loss.

IceNET is more accurate and produces predictions faster than previous technologies. Professionals found the system to be 95% more accurate for predicting two-month ice loss. Researchers can use the technology to determine society’s future impacts on Arctic conditions.

ROV for internal ice research

Researchers are also using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to examine the internal and basic consistency of glaciers. Professionals at the University of Texas at Austin use the DTG3 ROV to study changes on the northern Arctic coast of Alaska. Field researchers drill into the ice and place DTG3 in the hole.

Technology assesses how conventional climate systems interact with coastal ecosystems. They are also collecting data on permafrost loss, precipitation regimes and glacier depletion, exploring their effects on local environmental cycles. DTG3 helps researchers access essential information in winter, when the ice is thicker and more difficult to penetrate.

British environmentalists have started examining the base of melting glaciers using a stand-alone device called ecoSUB. The system uses an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) technology to track the subsoil conditions. The EcoSUBs will assess the cause of the glaciers breaking up.

The device can descend into deep regions of the ocean, tracking salinity levels and temperature changes along the way. Researchers can use the data to explore potential solutions to improve conservation.

Learn through technology

Environmental researchers have learned that arctic ice is high speed thinning using robotics and AI technology. Glacier depletion is an indicator of ecosystem health and stability, demonstrating a need for changes that improve sustainability in society.

They also discovered that polar bears are just one of many species threatened by adverse ecological effects.

We all call on us to do our part to minimize the adverse effects of climate change in the Arctic by reducing the overall carbon footprint of our society. We can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using other means of transportation. Cycling, walking and driving electric vehicles loaded with renewable energy can all help reduce pollution.

Eating less or no meat also minimizes emissions, lowering atmospheric methane. Over time, small lifestyle changes can have a significant impact, preserving the Arctic ecosystem.

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