The earth is rapidly changing due to global warming, so we need all the scientific tools available to monitor, prepare, adapt to, and even predict the future.
Today’s global challenges, such as climate change, deforestation, urban sprawl, pollution, and dwindling resources, are putting increasing pressure on the environment. There is an urgent need to use all available technologies and scientific knowledge to address these challenges, mitigate their impacts and promote adaptation. Climate change is one of the greatest threats to public health in the 21st century and is a major cause of disease and death as well as a significant risk factor for a wide range of health disorders.
The health impacts of climate change are already being felt by communities around the world. In the coming decades, these impacts are expected to increase, and to disproportionately affect vulnerable populations, including children, elderly people, and impoverished communities. Climate change is projected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year between 2030 and 2050.
By analysing land use change, which is a process by which human activities are altering the natural landscape and how land is and has been used, paying special attention to the function of land for economic activities, we can gain a basis to evaluate patterns and consequences of the changes in land use through time.
The Remote Sensing method contributes to existing knowledge aiming to develop a sustainable resource management and land use policies. The name Remote Sensing correctly implies that the method works with data coming from distant sensors. Optical sensors mounted in satellites provide images of large areas of the Earth’s surface, so we can see much more than we can on the ground. The growth of cities, the change of farmland or large forests over years or decades - all this can be mapped and analysed with precise data.
Land use change can help us understand the human-environment system and the implications of strongly interlinked environmental and social issues. By tracking land use changes over time, we can see how different factors - such as population growth, economic development, and environmental protection - interact to shape the landscape. Land use changes for example can help us understand how urbanization affects local ecosystems. As cities sprawl, they often encroach on natural areas, fragmenting habitats and disrupting natural processes. This can lead to a decline in biodiversity, as well as changes in the way water and other resources are used.
Land use changes can also help us understand the impacts of climate change. As the climate changes, so does the way we use land. For example, as temperatures warm, there may be a shift from agricultural land to forest land as farmers abandon their crops due to drought. By understanding land use changes, we can gain insights into the complex interactions between humans and the environment, and the impact of our activities on the planet.
RethinkAction will use data from Earth Observation and Remote Sensing to feed scientific models that use updated information about the actual state of regions from space. In this way, the project team will be able to provide policy-makers with more accurate information to help them make better decisions on land use issues.
You can find more information on the website of our project partner GMV: https://gmv.com/