Sunday, June 23, 2013

Can NASA's Vegetation Map Encourage Efficient Legislation?

The world’s vegetation is beneficial for sustaining life, growing food, and encouraging diversity of animal species. With 75% of the world covered in water and 25% in vegetation a total of 25% of the earth is relatively barren of sustainable plant life. You can see in the video how vegetation changes throughout a particular year to have a better perspective of the cycles of the seasons. The possibilities for proper analysis of the benefits and detractors of certain legislative actions is enhanced. 

The data was collected using Visible-Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIRS) on a NASA satellite that uses reflections of light to determine overall vegetation. The results will allow for monitoring as part of the Herbal Earth project and will be used to index vegetation overtime. The use of satellites will allow a more global perspective on what areas are suffering and what areas are doing well.

 There are obvious advantages to the use of such technology that include forest fire risk monitoring, climate change monitoring, weather pattern prediction, and vegetation loss risk. Where obvious changes and vegetation stress occur legislation may be beneficial and where vegetation is at an optimal level a reduction in legislation may be beneficial to encourage economic growth. The difference is that it can be monitored on a global scale for recent discussions on climate change and problems can be pinpointed.

To make effective legislation often requires a better analysis of the data as it is being presented. This technology now affords a greater understanding of climate change on a global scale and can further better approaches that put environmental laws where they are most beneficial without creating undue restrictions on areas that are growing fine. The protection of species, climate, and diversity can be more pinpointed and effective. Areas of concern can be monitored to see the actual benefit or detractors of certain legislative decisions that allows for the finding of a balance between economic and environmental needs.  

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