Australia has been experiencing the effects of increasing temperature over several decades through recurring hot days and lesser cold days, erratic rainfall, extreme drought, forest fires and rising sea level. It has not just impacted individuals in their health and welfare and the environment, but also businesses, industries and governments in their operations. It exposes companies to extreme changes and uncontrollable events in a short duration, creating vulnerability in their infrastructure, human resources, production and overall functioning. Environmental monitoring systems help observe these changes and manage the impact that organisations cause during their operation.
The Effect of Climate Change
Climate change made the importance of environmental monitoring even more essential. Climate change refers to the long-term change occurring in the weather pattern across the globe due to human interventions. Factory-produced greenhouse gases due to human activity are causing global warming, which is one of the major effects of climate change. The Australian government and local bodies have imposed regulations and laws to ensure the responsibility of businesses to reduce and mitigate incidents that put the environment under the compromise. The primary agenda of installing the environmental monitoring systems is to protect the flora, fauna and humans from the threat industries could pose and secure the business in the long term.
Why is Monitoring the Environment Essential?
Through environmental monitoring systems, businesses can identify the effects of their operations on the surrounding areas and analyse the conditions to optimise their work. By observing the impact in the short and long term, they can help mitigate any dangers the business poses and avoid penalties. Consequently, monitoring the environmental effect can help scientists predict future developments and take the necessary coercive actions to improve the situation before it plummets.
How Can Businesses Monitor the Environment?
Monitoring Air Pollution
Air pollution is one of the most harmful forms of pollution that affect not just the environment but human health. In 1998, the Australian government passed the National Environment Protection Measure for Ambient Air Quality (Air NEPM) that businesses must follow to regulate their emission and monitor the air quality in the area. It focuses on seven primary pollutants like ozone, nitrogen dioxide, lead, carbon monoxide, particulate matter (PM 2.5 and PM 10) and sulphur dioxide. The sensors in the environmental monitoring systems can detect the amount of these gases and particles in the atmosphere around the work area and regulate their output.
Monitoring Water Pollution
Water is essential to the functioning of the human, animal and plant bodies. Additionally, clean water is necessary for the sustenance of the biogeochemical cycle and the production of numerous products people consume. Therefore, industries must not pollute water through their manufacturing and mining operations and ensure that the water sources in their surroundings remain clean, safe and drinkable. Sensors on environment monitoring systems remotely measure the total dissolved solids, turbidity, total suspended solids, pollutants, and the mineral ion concentration on the surface and underground water sources.
Monitoring Noise Pollution
Noise pollution can occur on both land and the sea. Disturbances in the natural sound of the sea can affect the navigation and communication that cetaceans like whales use and endanger their survival. On land, excessive noise disrupts the optimal functioning of humans and the wildlife in the natural habitat, gradually decreasing their quality of life. Mines, ports and airports generally produce excessive noise that disrupts the surrounding area. Software is available to monitor the sound output of machines and operations on land and sea in real-time, which helps businesses monitor their sound production and ensure that they stick to the regulated decibels.