As Earthlings, we are vulnerable to even the slightest fluctuations in climate. With accelerating drivers of climate change causing droughts, hurricanes and severe weather patterns, our refusal to acknowledge this issue will only lead to regret.

Thankfully, we have Big Data on our side. The capacity to collect and analyze enormous amounts of information on temperature, moisture and wind is priceless when it comes to safeguarding ourselves against Mother Nature and improving the ways in which we treat our resources.

The Internet of Things is prepared to change every dimension of our lives using a plethora of information. Sensors can be installed on just about anything and connected to microprocessors on your device. By establishing these connections, we can turn previously dumb objects into smart ones.

Remember California’s drought? Roughly 80% of the state’s water is slurped up by agriculture, which provides fruits, vegetables and nuts for half of the United States. Their water shortage is a huge problem for all Americans.

Screen-Shot-2016-02-18-at-7-04-14-PM-png.pngCalifornia drought 2016 

Instead of waiting around for rain, scientists can explore the water levels in surrounding areas that act as water sources for the state. Instead of climbing snow covered mountains to collect imprecise data, sensors installed in these regions can send detailed information directly to a smartphone. Live updates on water levels, moisture and temperatures allow farmers to anticipate the growing conditions and prepare for whatever necessary.

IoT-enabled sensors are not limited to distant regions. They can be applied directly to the crops thereby enabling farmers to collect data on the micro-climates across their lands. Farmers can then use this technology to determine the optimal times to plant and water their crops. According to Intel, this system could cut water use in half, which could revolutionize the agricultural industry and sincerely make a dent in the battle against climate change.

smart-farming.jpg The potential of precision farming

A small-scale example was created by two high school freshman who used IoT-enabled sensors to monitor water and moisture levels in the soil to promote optimal growing conditions for garden peas. They even built a robot to deliver precise amounts of water to the peas. The entire set-up cost $450.

IoT enabled garden

Climate change is real and it is happening now. The implications it can have on our food and water supply are unnerving. Fortunately, the enormous amounts of data provided by IoT-enabled devices are endless. Our hope lies in the inspirational “smart” technology available from just a touch of a button.