Infrared Technology and The Environment

Planet Earth has survived several natural disasters in its four-and-a-half-billion-year life so far, but we humans are doing more damage in a shorter space of time than any natural event that has happened to the planet before. The effects of global warming are becoming unmistakable, with melting ice-caps and rising sea-levels, animals are losing their habitats and the natural balance is being disturbed.

As we continue the drive towards technological advancements, more environment-damaging behaviours are emerging, which is seriously impacting the state of the planet. But it’s not all bad news, because although these changes in technology and industry are causing these behaviours, they are also providing solutions by harnessing the power of infrared.

Thermal Imaging

The Earth’s Surface Temperature

Global warming not only has a detrimental impact on the environment, but it causes a series of knock-on effects that, in turn, cause major changes to the weather, resulting in natural disasters that can have devastating results for people living in at-risk locations.

The Earth’s surface temperature can be monitored, and the data is used to produce insights and predictions about emissions in each location. The surface temperature is observed using infrared thermal-imaging cameras, which highlight the areas in cities where emissions are above average. Plans can then be put in place to remedy these problem areas.

Protecting Endangered Animals

Infrared technology can be used to map galaxies that are beyond the reach of the human eye (including the most high-powered telescopes), and scientists are now using infrared to monitor the numbers of endangered animals. Until now, conservationists have had to physically count the numbers of each endangered species in particular habitats, making this a long and somewhat unreliable process.

Because different animals give off different heat signatures, experts can now use thermal-imaging technology to identify different animals, even through thick jungle canapes. Although this technology is expensive to run, it presents a more accurate representation of animal numbers, which highlights the effects of our habitat-damaging behaviours and helps us to put a plan in place to make a change.

Fire Fighters

Wildfires are unpredictable and can happen in any hot location at any time, claiming the lives and habitats of many animals (and people) in the process. Once a fire gains momentum, it becomes an unstoppable force that requires manpower and resources to extinguish.

The key to battling these fires is to prevent them from happening in the first place, and thermal imaging can be used to identify the beginnings of wildfires. Again, this technology is expensive to run, and is still in trial stage, but thermal cameras strapped to helicopters can be used to monitor at-risk areas and extinguish fires before they become too powerful to manage.

Infrared and the Home

You don’t have to be a conservationist or a firefighter to make use of environment-saving infrared tech, because infrared heat is being harnessed in heaters that are less wasteful of energy. In fact, the principles of infrared show that these heaters will directly heat up the objects in a room rather than the air around it, making for a more efficient heating solution.

Technology: Cause and Effect

We live in a time where technology is always changing. In previous years, advancements in industry have caused harm to the planet, but now a new wave of technology is appearing. Technology that streamlines our day-to-day experiences, is more economical, and helps the environment. Technology that harnesses the power of infrared radiation to save our resources and save you money. Technology that is always changing and continues to do so for the better.


Daniel Sefton is a writer for Cürv, providers of infrared heating panels and smart-home products.

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