Top Research Topics in Environmental Science
The list of top research topics in environmental science
The world today faces no greater challenge than an environmental problem. People have for quite long overlooked the intrinsic value of the environment. Most people do understand the importance of the environment but fail to appreciate how important it really is.
There’s no form life can survive without a healthy environment and therefore the need to appreciate the value of the environment.
Even the much-appreciated disciplines such as physics, economics, medicine, engineering can’t be in existence without a safe environment as there would be no humans.
We face more challenges today than ever before in ensuring a sustainable planet for present and future generations. As the population grows, environmental problems are become more pressing and require more drastic solutions and changes.
The environment is fast changing and people need to study the environment and ensure it’s healthy for everyone, no matter where they live. We’re all tasked with the responsibility of keeping the planet clean, healthy, and sustainable.
Therefore, one can major in environmental science and tackle some of the environmental problems or educate oneself on the biggest issues for greater awareness.
Here is the list of top research topics in environmental science one can pursue.
The world today is facing the global challenge of climate change that has attracted much attention and debate at all levels. Climate has no borders affects everyone. It is a cross-cutting phenomenon affecting every sector of society; politically, economically, and socially.
Research on climate change is often an uphill task. One might be tasked with a bigger problem, like getting people to agree climate change is real.
Either way, there’s plenty of opportunity in the field of climate change.
Modern society has been built on the backs of fossil fuels. Regrettably, it’s now haunting the world through climate change.
The world developing renewable energy technologies, such as solar, wind, and hydro energy.
Although these new technologies may be carbon-neutral, they always come at a cost.
For example, wind energy, which is touted as the ultimate green energy source, tends to whack birds out of the air, including endangered species. Hydropower blocks migratory fish like salmon from being able to reproduce, causing fisheries to suffer. Even solar power can block sunlight from reaching plants.
Therefore, developing a green future includes identifying potential threats and how to reduce, mitigate or eliminate them.
The global community is becoming more urban with populations moving to towns necessitating governments to plan for sustainable cities.
As the world urbanizes, we need to study and understand the impacts of these changes to be able to live harmoniously with nature.
For example, how much land should we designate as green space around streams that flow through subdivisions? How do we prevent road pollution from dumping on baby fish at the next big rainfall? Urban ecologists work to find solutions to these problems.
Researchers are developing a new technology software ‘Urban InVEST’ to help in designing more resilient cities around the world.
This will help planners and developers address inequities and build more resilient cities to improve people’s lives.
There has been an unprecedented surge in climate-related disasters, such as record-shattering heatwaves and wildfires in Australia and the US, flooding in South America and Southeast Asia, and devastating cyclones in Africa and South Asia.
Rising temperatures also mean more wildfires. This is why fire ecology is such a blazing field right now. Fire ecologists work hard to understand how fires naturally burn, how they’re burning currently, and how they might burn in the future.
Scientists are also trying to understand how humans can live in harmony with fire.
Like the saying, the environment has no borders and we all face the same environmental consequence no matter where it happens. The world is waking up to the fact that the marginalized populations lack a healthy environment.
Not everyone has access to clean drinking water, good soil, clean air, and green spaces. Without these environmental amenities, one can’t live life to its fullest potential.
A lot of research is needed to quantify the extent of environmental problems. And By documenting the impacts, we can work towards a solution in this unique niche that blends environmental science with sociology.
Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems
GIS skills are useful in fields of planning, such as city planning and engineering.
There’s a lot of work in “ground-truthing” the data i.e., literally going to the places the satellites and drones are looking at to see whether the scientists are correct in their estimates.
Scientists are increasingly turning to tools like satellites and drones to spy on the natural world from afar. They can then put the information they get on maps in a geographic information system (GIS) program and analyze the data.
Scientists use GIS for many reasons, like tracking the greening of the Serengeti as the rainy season starts.
The Planet’s capacity to sustain human life is fast eroding posing a major threat to the globe. The global prosperity and security of the people cannot thrive if the environment is not protected or is at risk.
Scientists estimate that between 200 and 2,000 species go extinct each year. Extinction is a normal process, but humans have increased this rate to abnormally high levels.
The natural ecosystem depends on biodiversity, and to keep our environment healthy, we need to prevent animals from going extinct. There’s still a lot of opportunities in research to save endangered species and prevent existing species from becoming endangered.
Quick industrialization has increased pollution and contamination of the environment. Economic activities damage the environment leading to heavy metals and even radioactive material in communities’ drinking water.
It’s an enormous job to clean all of that up. But rather than shoveling dirt, spreading microbes on the ground to eat up the pollution and neutralize it would be sustainable. Bioremediation scientists apply engineering microbes to take care of humans’ largest messes.
In this newly emerging field, researchers attempt to understand how noisy environments can impact the organisms living within them.
Limnology is the study of the chemistry, biology, geology, and physics of waters that are found within continents.
The field of oceanography has been overlooked especially in the world’s freshwater-limnology. Limnology is increasingly playing a bigger role in understanding and mitigating impacts on water ecosystems.
One of the more important goals of limnology is providing guidelines for water management and water pollution control. Limnologists also study ways to protect the wildlife that lives in lakes and rivers as well as the lakes and rivers themselves.