Saturated and detailed monitoring of the whole planet will be necessary to prevent deaths from natural disaster, pandemics, etc. We’re already seeing it improve after disasters such as the Nepal earthquake where drones were used to quickly map areas of devastation allowing the emergency services to plan and prioritise areas for rescue and rebuilding.
Hopefully in future our planet will be so extensively monitored we’ll even be able to be give accurate warnings about earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunami, as well as helping to forecast long term weather which may allow us to better use farmland and food production, for example planting the appropriate crops for the expected weather in the area.
Largest ever robot fleet will map the UK’s oceans – BBC News – 2-Oct-14
Powering Wireless Sensor Nodes with Ambient Temperature Changes – University of Washington – 13-Sep-14
Stanford engineer aims to connect the world with ant-sized radios- Stanford University – 9-Sep-14
Earth Monitoring DataBase Launched – earthmonitoringdatabase – 15-Jan-13