Data Mining is an emerging field of computer science. It involves data processing, data analysis and derivation of useful information from large databases or data marts.
Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a technique used to estimate the environmental footprints of hardware products by taking a comprehensive view of multiple environmental impacts such as greenhouse emissions of products. Interestingly Data Mining can be used to automate Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA). This is a wonderful application of Software Engineering for environmental protection.
A recent article titled 'Using Data Mining to Help Design Sustainable Products' published by IEEE is a very good read on this subject.
You may ask, ‘How Green is my iPad?’. The answer to this question was elaborated by Daniel Goleman and Gregory Norris in their article published by New York Times, 4th April 2010.
Another interesting article on this subject has been published by Brazilian Journal of Oceanography. The title of this article is 'Data mining for environmental analysis and diagnostic: A case study of upwelling ecosystem of Arraial do Cabo'.
Is there a way to monitor illegal dumping of garbage and toxic material? The answer is yes. Read ‘Monitoring of Illegal Dumping Using Spatial Data Mining and Remote Sensing’ for more information.
Here is an example on how governments are funding research in this area:
Environmental data mining: learning algorithms and statistical tools for monitoring and forecasting
Isn't it interesting?