The View From Space
Bloomberg Businessweek|October 11, 2021
A startup uses satellites and AI to measure, and maybe mitigate, the climate crisis
Ashlee Vance

Over the past few years technology companies have started to build something akin to a computing shell around the Earth, where satellites gather massive amounts of photos and other measurements and artificial intelligence software systems analyze the data. The results can be quite spectacular. It’s no longer enough for systems like these to count every tree on the Earth’s surface; now they aim to measure each one’s health, size, and species to compute their total biomass and ability to pull carbon dioxide out of the air.

Advances in hardware and machine-learning software are vastly expanding what’s possible with satellite data. Once the province of government-backed research, the most ambitious work today comes from private companies. Startups in the field say they want to assist scientists grappling with climate change by providing precise data about the health of the planet. But they’re also chasing profits and counting on the information they’re generating being valuable to those judging whether corporate and government programs to better the environment are effective.

One of the most ambitious startups in the field is Muon Space. While other companies have focused on one part of the process—maintaining networks of satellites, say, or creating computer models to monitor specific situations such as wildfires or methane leaks—Muon wants to do it all. Founded by a team of satellite experts and scientists, it plans to launch a fleet of satellites designed to analyze Earth’s atmosphere, land, and water in fine detail. The company will combine measurements from its own equipment with decades of publicly available satellite data to create a meticulously detailed picture of the planet’s ecosystems.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEKView All

Big Sky's Moment of Glory

The most rugged resort in Montana gets speedy lifts, luxury hotels, and fine dining to match its extreme slopes

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
October 18 - 25, 2021

Black Hairstyles Need Protection

In most U.S. states, employers and schools are allowed to discriminate against box braids, locs, and other traditional styles. A coalition of activists and legislators has started to change that.

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
October 18 - 25, 2021

High Stakes On the Lake

Justin Bibb wants to be Cleveland’s next mayor. If he beats Kevin Kelley, he’ll inherit serious problems—and a windfall to fix them

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
October 18 - 25, 2021

Can twitter get us to be nice?

Social networks are all designed to make people angry and keep them coming back for more. Now, one of the worst offenders is trying to be less of a hellscape

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
October 18 - 25, 2021

Let's Make Covid Testing Part of Our Morning Routine

A Harvard immunologist champions low-cost, at-home rapid tests to beat the pandemic

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
October 18 - 25, 2021

Homeopath, heal thyself

Natalie Grams believed—really believed—in the healing power of homeopathy. Then a health crisis of her own forced the German physician to question her faith

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
October 18 - 25, 2021

Stuck on the Sidelines of The U.S. Job Market

Conversations with some of the 5 million out-of-work Americans shed light on why so many jobs are going begging

8 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
October 18 - 25, 2021

DE-radicalizing the Extremists

Parents for Peace enlists ex-believers to help families win back loved ones drawn to Islamism, QAnon, and other ideologies. Demand has never been higher

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
October 18 - 25, 2021

The Hunt for the Most Lucrative Patients

Privately run Medicare Advantage programs get paid more when members look sicker—even if they don’t receive more care

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
October 18 - 25, 2021

Wall Street's Toughest Turnaround

Jane Fraser is rethinking Citigroup and what it means to work at a megabank

7 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
October 18 - 25, 2021
RELATED STORIES

MICROSOFT SHUTTING DOWN LINKEDIN IN CHINA

Microsoft is shutting down its LinkedIn service in China later this year after internet rules were tightened by Beijing, the latest American tech giant to lessen its ties to the country.

1 min read
Techlife News
October 16, 2021

MICROSOFT: RUSSIA BEHIND 58% OF DETECTED STATE-BACKED HACKS

Russia accounted for most state-sponsored hacking detected by Microsoft over the past year, with a 58% share, mostly targeting government agencies and think tanks in the United States, followed by Ukraine, Britain and European NATO members, the company said.

3 mins read
Techlife News
October 09, 2021

How Windows 11 will speed up your slow PC

If your PC feels faster, is it faster? That’s Windows 11’s aim with some smart under-the-hood tweaks.

3 mins read
PCWorld
October 2021

Unpatched Office attack reminds us: Don't click on risky docs

An attacker will have to convince you to click on the document as well as turn off Protected View.

2 mins read
PCWorld
October 2021

Windows 11 to launch on October 5

The start of an exciting fall for PC users.

2 mins read
PCWorld
October 2021

HOW TO DISAPPEAR COMPLETELY FROM THE INTERNET

It’s not just government spying; big-tech behemoths including Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have collected huge amounts of people’s data in order to serve up targeted ads—and then, there’s the personal data that’s scooped up in all the breaches and hacks.

10+ mins read
PC Magazine
October 2021

Introducing the Kiplinger ESG 20

Our picks have profit potential and are tackling today’s environmental, social and governance challenges.

10+ mins read
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
November 2021

HP Elite Folio: Extreme mobility for a price

A superbright screen and all-day battery life make this a laptop you can use even in broad daylight.

10+ mins read
PCWorld
September 2021

MICROSOFT FIXES CLOUD PLATFORM VULNERABILITY AFTER WARNING

Microsoft says it has fixed a flaw in its cloud computing platform that cybersecurity researchers warned could have enabled hackers to take over a cloud-based database product used by many big companies.

1 min read
AppleMagazine
September 03, 2021

Windows 365: Five key differences between Windows Home and Pro

Lower prices for existing Windows 10 users? Microsoft’s new enterprise offering presents stark contrasts with the consumer Windows versions.

4 mins read
PCWorld
September 2021