How artificial intelligence is fast becoming a key tool for climate science

The COVID-19 global pandemic has shocked the world, leading to economic hardship and massive social disruption. While we are still recovering from the pandemic situation, we should be considerate of another crisis that is picking up pace, which is climate change. Slowing down climate change is a matter of urgency and priority. If we fail here, we would be facing a more extensive crisis than what we experienced due to the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic.

In the last couple of years, climate scientists and researchers have had new tools and technologies at their disposal, courtesy of quick advances in the field of artificial intelligence. In contrast to other solutions, AI based solutions aimed at building a system that could data, further learn and infer patterns based on that data and provide useful insights. As a result, there is an addition to the climate research solutions where the main objective is to complement and enhance the use of observations and currently available climate models. The primary goal is to overcome the challenges of climate research and enhance the projections for the future.

Artificial intelligence (AI) based solutions help in solving a problem quickly and efficiently. Moreover, the solution is often something that the humans would have taken a lot of time to discover and implement if done manually. AI solutions can be used to discover new patterns and complex relationships between different variables, further analyzing those patterns and providing useful insights. For example, a network can be trained to identify patterns and classify them in categories based on satellite imagery which then could be used to forecast weather, etc.

We don’t really have time to waste. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are the highest, average sea levels are rising very quickly, 2019 was the hottest year on record for the world’s oceans and to tackle these quickly changing situations, we need to accelerate our response to climate change and artificial intelligence development is one of the answers to our never-ending climate change concerns. AI isn’t going to answer all our concerns, but it can certainly help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions in various ways.

Below are some of the ways through which AI solutions can impact climate change strategies:

  • Improve energy efficiency: According to the research, artificial intelligence solutions would improve power efficiency by 15% in the coming five years. AI solutions support efficiencies in power generation and its distribution, from autonomous maintenance, monitoring any substantial leakage, route optimization, and management of the fleet. With the help of AI solutions, experts can predict wind patterns for up to 36 hours in advance to optimize their wind farms. Electric systems generate a huge amount of data, as of now, organizations aren’t leveraging these databases to their full potential for learning.

With help of AI solutions, especially machine learning, they can peak into the data and have a better understanding and forecast energy generation, its demand pattern and help suppliers with improved use of their resources and bridge in the gaps will reduce the waste generation. The implementation of AI solutions for energy efficiency can start at the industrial level and can further be implemented across the household and individual levels in the coming years.

  • Avoid waste: Organizations, governments, and experts often adopt AI based solutions to avoid waste generation. No matter if artificial intelligence is used to decrease the energy waste from building in terms of their CO2 emissions or for understanding their demand and supply patterns, AI-based solutions can help in understanding climate change strategies to reduce waste in different forms like time, resources, money, etc.

While we are talking about the carbon footprint, it is obvious that implementing AI also contributes to the carbon footprint but the tremendous value of AI and the outcomes it generates for reducing these emissions should be considered. Moreover, the right AI solutions are important for organizations, therefore they need the right tech partner in terms of AI development service providers who can develop appropriate solutions based on the requirements and implement them accordingly.

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Nora Winkens

Daffodil Software is a partner in software technology for more than 100 organizations around the world.