Role of Virtual Reality in Climate Change

In today’s context, there is a constant threat of the world being in a ‘deep state of climate emergency. On the one side, there are many environmentalists and the general public who are very much concerned and are taking the necessary steps to deal with climate change, and on the other side, there are some who are less concerned and do not view climate change as a very serious threat. Though there many be divided opinions on the extent of the threat, we can never deny the fact that we must do something from our side. One of the greatest threats the world faces is global warming.

The earth is warming up steadily. The main reason for this is the human-caused greenhouse gases that have led to ecological, health, and humanitarian crises. Virtual reality is one such innovative solution that is creating a positive impact in the area of climate change.

In this article, we will analyze the various immersive projects that are making a great impact on climate change.

What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual reality is an artificial environment created with software and presented to the user in such a manner that the user accepts it as a real environment. On a computer, virtual reality is primarily experienced using the two out of the five senses, and they are sight and sound. A 3-D image is the simplest form of virtual reality that can be explored interactively using a personal computer, by manipulating the keys or the mouse. Virtual reality is usually divided into two categories: simulating a real environment for training and education purposes and developing an imagined environment for an interactive story or game.

Need For Virtual Reality

The engaging and immersive nature of virtual reality helps tackle the impact of climate change and motivates and inspires people to solve the climate crisis. Virtual reality in climate change can be used to build empathy and drive action. Research reveals that virtual reality helps engage people and also change their behaviour. According to the Virtual Human Interaction Lab of Stanford University, a person who has a VR experience of cutting down a tree- during which they feel the sound and vibration of the chainsaw and the sound of a falling tree- that paper will most likely conserve paper.

Some of the projects that will make a huge impact in the area of climate change are:

1. Tree

This project will help you experience the growth of a tree right from a seedling into its fullest form. It helps you learn the challenges it faces throughout its lifecycle. In this project, you will be transformed into a rainforest tree with your body as the trunk and arms as big as branches. A whopping 46% of the world’s trees have been felled, right from when humans started cutting down forests. According to reports, 17% of the Amazon rainforest has been destroyed in the last fifty years. Trees are indeed vital for human existence as they absorb the greenhouse gases we emit and the carbon dioxide that we exhale. The Tree project will show people the devastating effects of deforestation. It aims to educate people in an entertaining way by showing both the beauty and the fragility of nature.


IMMERSE is a 360-degree film that aims to generate scientific understanding and awareness of coral reefs and the threat they face because of rising ocean temperatures. In the experience, the user becomes a diver and follows Dr.Erica Woolsey, marine biologist and CEO of Hydrous, the company that has created IMMERSE, as you swim next to sea turtles, sharks, and other underwater creatures. Hydrous operates on the belief that virtual reality is the best medium for education as it allows people to visit places that they never visit in their real lives. Due to the immersive nature of VR, the user can connect to the underwater world and understand life below the surface.

3. We Live in an Ocean of Air

This project uses awe and wonders to instil curiosity in the user about other living things on the planet. This project is as simple as breathing and connects plants and humans with one another to create a whole ecosystem of life. It is a 20-minute experience that uses cutting edge technology to shed light on the connection between the natural world and humans. Though this experience may not very hard-hitting or daunting, it is a great way for us to visualize the relationship we share with the world around us. By understanding this connection, people will become more aware of the planet and its individual parts and will express more willingness to protect it.


I hope this article helped you learn how virtual reality aids in climate change. If you wish to become a virtual reality expert, check out the virtual reality certifications offered by Global Tech Council.

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