Environmental informatics

From LIMSWiki
Jump to navigationJump to search
Publicly available data sets and informatics tools like open-source SAGA GIS enable the creation of environmental models and images such as this.

Environmental informatics (EI) is a developing field of science that applies information processing, management, and sharing strategies to the interdisciplinary field of environmental science.[1] Applications include the integration of information and knowledge, the application of computational intelligence to environmental data, and the identification of the environmental impacts of information technology. EI helps scientists define information processing requirements, analyze real-world problems, and solve those problems using informatics methodologies and tools.[2]

As EI has continued to evolve, several other definitions have been offered over the years:

  • "an emerging field centering around the development of standards and protocols, both technical and institutional, for sharing and integrating environmental data and information."[3] - Biosphere Data Project, University of California - Berkeley, 2004
  • the application of "[r]esearch and system development focusing on the environmental sciences relating to the creation, collection, storage, processing, modelling, interpretation, display and dissemination of data and information."[4] - Natural Environment Research Council, 2014


Environmental informatics emerged roughly around the late 1980s in Central Europe.[2] For example, in 1986 Germany's Gesellschaft für Informatik (Society for Computer Science) created the technical committee Informatik im Umweltschutz (Computer Science in Environmental Protection) dedicated to "the whole spectrum of subjects related to informatics in environmental protection."[5] The group is still active as of 2019, having hosted its thirty-third International Conference on Informatics for Environmental Protection.[6] Since Informatik im Umweltschutz's inception, other groups there and in other regions of the world were created, including The International Environmetrics Society (TIES, founded in 1989[7]) and the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society (iEMSs, founded in 2000[8]), as well as conferences like the International Symposium on Environmental Software Systems (ISESS, founded in 1995[9]).


Environmental informatics can help tackle problems and tasks such as the following[10][11]:

  • the acquisition and application of remote sensing data from optical, thermal infrared, and microwave instruments targeting the atmosphere, vegetation, and the ocean
  • the estimation of aerosol load in the atmosphere
  • the gauging of influence of trace gases, aerosol, and clouds on the weather and climate
  • the analysis of geographical features for urban and regional development
  • the modeling and assessment of ecological environments
  • the development and optimization of mathematical algorithms for environmental modeling


Closely related to EI is the concept of ecological informatics or "ecoinformatics," which essentially takes environmental informatics and adds the consideration of anthropogenic activity trends. Ecoinformatics aims to facilitate environmental research and management by developing ways to access, manage, and integrate databases of environmental information and develop new algorithms enabling different environmental datasets to be combined to test ecological hypotheses.[12][13][14]

Further reading

External links


This article reuses a couple of elements from the Wikipedia article.


  1. Hilty, L.M.; Page, B.; Radermacher, F.J.; Riekert, W.F. (1995). "Chapter 1: Environmental Informatics as a New Discipline of Applied Computer Science". In Avouris, N.M.; Page, B.. Environmental Informatics. Springer. pp. 1–11. doi:10.1007/978-94-017-1443-3. ISBN 9789048145386. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Page, B.; Wohlgemuth, V. (2010). "Advances in Environmental Informatics: Integration of Discrete Event Simulation Methodology with ecological Material Flow Analysis for Modelling eco-efficient Systems". Procedia Environmental Sciences 2: 696–705. doi:10.1016/j.proenv.2010.10.079. 
  3. Kada, K.; Lussier, S.. "Biosphere Data Project - What is Environmental Informatics?". University of California - Berkeley. Archived from the original on 11 December 2004. https://web.archive.org/web/20041211010311/http://dream.sims.berkeley.edu/biosphere/eimore.html. Retrieved 03 June 2014. 
  4. "NERC - Research areas - Tools, technology & methods". Natural Environment Research Council. Archived from the original on 25 September 2020. https://web.archive.org/web/20200925122955/https://nerc.ukri.org/funding/application/howtoapply/topics/. Retrieved 06 January 2021. 
  5. Geiger, Werner (22 April 1996). "General Information about the Technical Committee 'Computer Science in Environmental Protection'". Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. Archived from the original on 26 July 1997. https://web.archive.org/web/19970726002709/http://www.iai.fzk.de/Fachgruppe/GI/allgemeines.eng.html. Retrieved 03 June 2014. 
  6. "EnviroInfo 2019". University of Oldenburg. https://enviroinfo2019.org/. Retrieved 20 March 2020. 
  7. "TIES - History". The International Environmetrics Society. 19 September 2013. http://www.environmetrics.org/history.html. Retrieved 03 June 2014. 
  8. "iEMSs - Medalists, Fellows and ECREs". International Environmental Modelling and Software Society. 19 June 2008. https://www.iemss.org/awards/medallists-fellows-and-ecres/. Retrieved 20 March 2020. 
  9. "ISESS – International Symposium on Environmental Software Systems". International Environmental Modelling and Software Society. 7 November 2013. https://www.iemss.org/thread/isess-international-symposium-on-environmental-software-systems/. Retrieved 20 March 2020. 
  10. Kokhanovsky, A. (2014). "Grand challenges in environmental informatics". Frontiers in Environmental Science 1 (5). doi:10.3389/fenvs.2013.00005. 
  11. "Journal of Environmental Informatics". International Society for Environmental Information Sciences. http://www.jeionline.org/index.php?journal=mys. Retrieved 20 March 2020. 
  12. Cracknell, A.P.; Krapivin, V.F. (2008). Global Climatology and Ecodynamics: Anthropogenic Changes to Planet Earth. Springer. p. 449. ISBN 9783540782094. https://books.google.com/books?id=k2aVFcrCi90C&pg=PA449. Retrieved 20 March 2020. 
  13. Kondratyev, K.Y.; Krapivin, V.F.; Phillipe, G.W. (2002). "Chapter 2: The Basic Principles of Global Ecoinformatics". Global Environmental Change: Modelling and Monitoring. Springer. pp. 27–62. ISBN 9783540433736. https://books.google.com/books?id=n04HU6f5FDYC&pg=PA27. Retrieved 20 March 2020. 
  14. Recknagel, F. (2009). "Chapter 3: Ecological Informatics: Current Scope and Feature Areas". In Jørgensen, S.E.; Chon, T.S.. Handbook of Ecological Modelling and Informatics. WIT Press. pp. 41–47. ISBN 9781845642075. https://books.google.com/books?id=XzEKlNhnUHUC&pg=PA41. Retrieved 20 March 2020.