Land-use change arguably exerts the single largest human impact on the environment. Land-use change has significantly contributed to biodiversity declines via habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species spread, altered water cycles and the loss of ecosystem services.
Given the large environmental impacts of land use and the potential for large land-use changes in the future, policies and actions aimed toward a more sustainable future will require a thorough understanding of how policies can affect land-use patterns as well as how changes in extent and pattern of land use affect both ecosystem service provision and biodiversity persistence. Our ability to predict future land-use change at scales that are ecologically meaningful, however, is limited.
Approaches that predict land-use change that are spatially detailed enough to be ecologically meaningful start with a map of current land cover are easy to get. Reference: “Soil Survey of Collier County Area, Florida” (Issued in 1998). Add a complete system for designing and managing solutions through the application of geographic knowledge (ArcGIS) and Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) map transitions in land cover in each pixel in future time steps are based either on past land-use trends, the spatial neighborhood of each pixel or a desired or predicted land cover abundance at a broader scale can be used to make decisions.
However, the limitations of these common spatially detailed land-use models is that they do not explain transitions as a function of human decision making and often lack data about the economic incentives driving those decisions.
I was a student at the Department of Defense Computer Institute in 1976 and our instructor was Captain Grace Hooper. Recently “Science Illustrated” carried an article about “10 Supreme Supercomputers” and there she was. The eighth-fastest supercomputer in the world is named in honor of computer pioneer Grace Hooper, who was instrumental in developing the first real computer programming language.
A computer's processing power is measured in flops, which is short for floating point operations per second. Before 2020, the world will most likely see an exaflop computer that will have the capability of handling mind-boggling 1 quintillion calculations per second.
NUMBER NAME PREFIX
1,000,000 million mega
1,000,000,000 billion giga
1,000,000,000,000 trillion tera
1,000,000,000,000,000 quadrillion peta
1,000,000,000,000,000,000 quintillion exa
Her pitch centered on the nanosecond (0,000 000 001 [billionth]) and picosecond (0,000 000 000 001 [trillionth]) to students living a world of seconds.
The Hooper computer recently helped scientists discover why light emitting diodes are not as efficient as they should be, which may help pave the way for the development of more efficient and energy-conscious lighting. Another group of scientists has used Hooper to learn more about how auroras arise.
With the availability of supercomputers, getting land use planning right in Collier County should be a rather easy task. Or are we still tied to seconds in the face of biodiversity declines via habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species spread, altered water cycles and the loss of ecosystem services during the permitting process?