Why not get drones to do the dirty work for you?
Residents in California are turning to some state-of-the-art technology to track the changing coastline using smartphones and drones.
At the behest of the Nature Conservancy, citizen-scientists are trying to map out the flooding and coastal erosion caused by El Nino that is slamming the region with a whole lot of wet weather, according to an Associated Press report.
This huge crowd-souring effort involvings geotagging images of storm surgers and flooded beaches so scientists can gather clues on what global warming is likely to do to coastlines as sea levels continue to rise.
The drones they are using can produced 3D maps at a high resolution that will help scientists determine if the predictive models they’ve been using are actually on target.
While the coastal changes caused by this strong El Nino system aren’t necessarily related to climate change, scientists think it offers a good chance to take a peak at what the future holds as global warming worsens, and this project is also a good opportunity to raise the profile of the issue in the American public’s minds.
Scientists estimate that the sea level around California could rise by 4.6 feet by 2100, which would displace a half million pepole and cause $100 billion in damage to critical infrastructure in today’s dollars. It will also result in the loss of California’s famous beaches — El Nino-fueld storms will do the same thing, but only temporarily, diminishing the beaches or causing their complete disappearance.
Crowdsourcing has become an increasingly successful method in the world of research, allowing a large amount of people to participate in a massive project and assist scientists in the gathering of essential data, and it has been growing in prevalence in recent years.