Pigeons Wearing Backpacks Tweet About Air Pollution In London

Posted: Mar 16 2016, 5:02am CDT | by , Updated: Mar 16 2016, 9:34pm CDT, in Latest Science News


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Pigeons Tweet About Air Pollution in London via Backpacks
Pigeons have been road testing wearable sensors that will provide air pollution data for Imperial research.
  • Pigeons Tweet Messages via Backpack Kits regarding Air Pollution in London

A series of pigeons are tweeting messages via backpack kits regarding air pollution in the city of London. This new scheme has worked out just fine so far.

Pigeons are being employed by authorities in England wearing test kits that are tied to their backs. These tweet back messages to headquarters regarding the quality of the surrounding air.

Areas of London are experiencing unprecedented levels of air pollution in the form of smog. Oxford Street alone broke the record for nitrogen dioxide levels. This is normally vented out from the exhaust pipes of diesel vehicles. It causes heart and lung diseases.

The pigeons have small backpack air pollution monitors. Sensors that are featherweight (no pun intended) are incorporated into the fabric vests that are affixed to each pigeon’s back.

These measure the nitrogen dioxide and ozone levels in the air. A major part of the pollution is caused by these two gases. Termed the Pigeon Flying Patrol, this scheme of birds which are used to benefit human beings is being employed for a time span of three days for now.

Even in such a limited duration the experiment will yield vital results. In fact, it might lead to another bigger research project sometime in the future.

Later on in 2016, the research institute responsible for this experiment will recruit a hundred human beings who will wear air pollution monitors. These will record the levels of pollutants in the air.

The researchers at the institute will interpret and analyze them later on. However, the employment of human beings for the next step in the program has another reason behind it.

These men and women will get to witness the high levels of everyday pollution on a first hand basis. Thus greater awareness will automatically get generated regarding the issue at hand.

In this week, public can track the pigeons via the Pigeon Air Patrol website. And they can also get the pollution readings from their monitors by tweeting @PigeonAir.

The air pollution backpacks will identify where exactly all the dirty atmosphere is concentrated in the region. Any special spots where this pollution is at its maximum will also be pinpointed.

Finally, this will come in handy as regards future urban planning and policy making by the government. Individuals are being encouraged to look into ways of reducing air pollution. An approach of activism is needed. Technology can only go so far. Ultimately it is a matter of using clean energy on a personal level that counts in the long run.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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