Recent trends in the use of remote sensing to address environmental issues

Event: 57th Autumn Conference of the Remote Sensing Society of Japan
Conference Paper

In this study, we investigated trends in the use of remote sensing (RS) to address some major global environmental issues to see if it is being increasingly or decreasingly used to address each issue. We considered several land, water, air, and integrated Earth system issues. Of the 12 environmental issues we considered, there was an increasing trend in the use of RS in 5 (deforestation, urban heat island, air pollution, water pollution, and biodiversity loss), a flat trend in 4 (forest degradation, greenhouse gas emissions, sustainable development, and ecosystem services) and a decreasing trend in 3 (desertification, ocean acidification, and climate change/global warming) from 2000-2013. The issues with flat or decreasing trends (except desertification) are generally difficult to directly observe using current RS instruments alone, which may have limited the wider use of RS in these areas. Development of new sensors or new methods for combining remote sensing with other information sources are probably needed to promote wider use of remote sensing in these areas.