Predicting Forest Fires with Smart Phones

Canadians have seen how devastating wildfires can be. This year alone, more fires have burned in B.C. than ever before. There is no more time to wait, we must act now to find innovative and creative solutions to climate change. The work of students and faculty at TAU’s Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, are leading the way in addressing environmental threats to our planet.

PhD student Hofit Shachaf’s study is an example of a real solution that can have real impact.  Hofit found a unique way to identify and warn people about conditions that help cause wildfires. She showed how a smartphone’s built-in sensors – that measure environmental factors such as humidity, temperature, atmospheric pressure and magnetic field – can be used to predict forest fires. 

Her research, based on data collected over a period of four years from roughly 40,000 smartphones worldwide, can be helpful in identifying areas susceptible to such devastating blazes made worse by climate change.

LINK to her work:

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