Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Who needs environmental monitoring?

11.06.2007
We monitor the stock market, the weather, our blood pressure. Yet environmental monitoring is often criticized as being unscientific, expensive, and wasteful.

Scientists argue that environmental monitoring is a crucial part of science in the review, “Who needs environmental monitoring"” Gary Lovett (Institute of Ecosystem Studies) and colleagues from several universities and US government offices contributed to the review.

The review is particularly relevant, given the budgetary constraints on current monitoring and the ongoing debate regarding the opportunities, limitations, and costs associated with the establishment of national environmental observatories in the US . These include the upcoming National Ecological Observatory Network, as well as established ecological monitoring programs such as those run by the Environmental Protection Agency and face imminent closure unless Congress reverses the Agency’s budgetary Plans that monitor air pollution and acid rain.

Long-term monitoring programs help society understand environmental issues including acid rain deposition, clean air, ozone, global warming, and invasive species.

According to Lovett et al., the absence of monitoring can greatly hinder evaluation of the effectiveness of environmental policies and programs.

Monitoring data are important for determining if an event is unusual or extreme, and useful in the development of appropriate experimental design. Monitoring data also contribute significantly to the testing of environmental models, such as those that predict climate change.

“While some researchers are concerned monitoring takes away from research funding, the small fraction spent on monitoring actually provides an opportunity to learn which environmental policies work and which do not,” says Lovett.

“While we can’t know for certain all the information a scientist in the future may need, good monitoring programs are still possible. Focusing on critical processes - such as nutrient budgets and controllers of ecosystem function, or concentrating on things people care about such as bird species diversity - will improve the probability that a dataset will be useful for future environmental issues,” say the researchers.

The review concludes that environmental monitoring matters to everyone. Scientists need it for research programs, policy makers need it for setting and evaluating environmental policy, and the public need monitoring to track our nation’s natural resources.

Annie Drinkard | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.esa.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht How fires are changing the tundra’s face
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht Using drones to estimate crop damage by wild boars
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A whole-body approach to understanding chemosensory cells

13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water without windows: Capturing water vapor inside an electron microscope

13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Cellular Self-Digestion Process Triggers Autoimmune Disease

13.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>