Wired is reporting that ecologists think the internet could act as an early ecological warning system
based on data mining human interactions. While much of this work has been based on systems like Google Flu Trends, the system will remain largely theoretical for the near future. "The six billion people on Earth are changing the biosphere so quickly that traditional ecological methods can't keep up. Humans, though, are acute observers of their environments and bodies, so scientists are combing through the text and numbers on the Internet in hopes of extracting otherwise unavailable or expensive information. It's more crowd mining than crowd sourcing."