Scientists want to 3D map the entire world before the Earth is destroyed by climate change

The Earth is changing faster than anyone can imagine. Wildfires, melting glaciers and much more are evidence that ancient cultures are slowly disappearing.

Some degree of change is obvious, but changing faster and more intense as a result of human activities that cause the climate to change is a serious problem.

Recently, two researchers proposed a way to record information about our planet. That’s using lasers to create high-resolution 3D maps of the entire world today. This is a non-profit project called “Earth Archive” , started by archaeologist Chris Fisher and geographer Steve Leisz. Both researchers are working at Colorado State University, USA.

Scientists want to 3D map the entire world before the Earth is destroyed by climate change
In 2018, archaeologists used a laser to survey part of the Guatemalan forest and discovered an ancient city that had been buried. Now, the researchers of the “Earth Archive” project also want to apply this method to map the entire landmass of the Earth.

In an interview, archaeologist Fisher stated that the climate crisis threatens to destroy our cultural and ecological heritage within the next few decades. So how do we save information about everything today before it’s too late? The answer is to use the method of investigation and classification by light, also known as the Lidar method. This is a method of remote surveying using aircraft carrying laser ground scanning equipment. Using this method, researchers can make high-resolution 3D maps of a large area with objects, information not only on the ground but also deep underground.

Over the past decade, this technology has especially contributed a lot in archaeological surveys and helped researchers discover many cities that have been buried in the jungles of Africa and South Africa. America, many streets of ancient Rome and many vestiges of ancient cities in Cambodia. In 2007, Mr. Fisher was part of a research team that used Lidar to find traces of a lost city in the Honduran jungle. This method allowed them to gather detailed information about the city in 10 minutes, which is more than what the team had found in 10 years simply by searching in the field.

Thanks to this valuable experience, Mr. Fisher believes that scientists need to “scan, scan, scan forever” to record information about the world’s most vulnerable places before they disappear. The mission of the “Earth Archive” project will focus on surveying the entire land surface of the earth, equivalent to 29% of the global area, starting with the most at-risk areas such as the Amazon rainforest and the Amazon rainforest. coastal areas are in danger of being wiped out due to sea level rise. The mission may take decades, but the result will be “the ultimate gift for future generations,” Fisher said.

For this project to work, of course, large financial resources are required. The project needs about US million to scan most of the Amazon region over the next three years. With such high costs, some researchers are concerned about whether the project can make it to the end. Professor Mat Disney of the Department of Geography, University College London said that such a large project would certainly take the financial resources of other projects. Even with enough funding, getting a permit to fly through restricted airspace is a sizable barrier. He said , “Who will allow these planes to fly over Brazil, certainly the Brazilian government will not agree” because current Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is still against science and opening some prohibited zones. of the Amazon forest for commercial profit.