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Why is AI a game-changer in climate change? What data shows us so far

Written by: Archie Williamson | Posted: 16-01-2024

Why is AI a game-changer in climate change? What data shows us so far

This is an AI-generated image created with Midjourney by Molly-Anna MaQuirl

Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing humanity today. The potential for mass extinctions and extreme weather to devastate populations is becoming more likely the longer we avoid taking action.

As individuals, we are encouraged to consider the small daily changes we can make to decrease our impact on the planet. These small steps help, but corporations are the primary polluters and the only ones really capable of having an impact on the climate crisis. Without government intervention and tough regulations, it is unlikely that we’ll see any positive change.

But how do we know what to do or what changes will have the greatest impact? This is where artificial intelligence (AI) comes in.

Much of the AI news that we regularly hear involves sensationalized stories about how AI is taking over and will control what we see and buy without us even realizing it. In reality, AI has a far wider range of uses than simply advertising and social media influence.

When looking at the ways that we can use artificial intelligence for climate change solutions, we see just how impressive and varied AI technology can be. Below are some of the ways that artificial intelligence is being used to help address the climate change crisis.

Climate Change AI, an organization working to bring AI solutions regarding climate change to the attention of a wider public, break down the types of AI solutions into four categories: mitigation, adaptation, climate science and tools for action.

Mitigation

Climate change AI tools and strategies for mitigation aim to make the damage we have already done less severe. Mitigation is one of the first steps that needs to be taken. Mitigation tools come in different forms, but all are designed to change how the future unfolds.

Our power grids are essential to society functioning but creating enough electricity for our daily usage has a massive environmental impact. Mitigation AI tools for electrical systems are one solution. Supply, demand and price forecasting AI tools make green energy more appealing to energy companies because they can determine when and how to make the biggest profits on it.

Power grid emissions modeling using AI allows energy companies to get a more accurate image of the power grid, how it works and where potential issues are likely to appear. This means that emissions can be minimized after problem areas are identified, which can then be strengthened before an accident occurs.

Adaptation

Adaptation tools are AI tools that help us develop ways to survive in a future where our climate is more severe. These tools acknowledge the reality of climate change but are meant to figure out ways to make the planet and our societies more resilient and robust.

One of the main areas that AI adaptation tools are used is in predictive maintenance. Our necessary infrastructure, such as power grids, roads, rail lines and bridges, are all threatened by extreme weather events and the effects of climate change. AI adaptation tools can model potential disasters and stresses to predict possible outcomes. This also allows any concerned parties, such as governments or corporations, to prepare for disasters before they happen and build stronger infrastructures.

Another important area that AI adaptation tools are being used is to increase food security. A changing climate means traditional growing patterns are being disrupted. AI tools can identify how widespread these changes are and locate the areas and plants that are best suited to each other, even if they don’t follow traditional crop schedules. 

Climate science

AI climate science tools work to help us better understand the climate, which should allow us to better predict how things may change so that we can address issues before they happen. Lab sciences are able to prove their hypotheses by testing them in laboratories. Climate scientists don’t have that luxury. AI tools can bridge that gap.

Climate modeling is the most important work that AI tools can do. Accelerating climate models can help scientists build close approximations of how particular aspects of the climate will change depending on specific factors. This can help us develop targets we need to meet to reduce climate change or to identify the specific pollutants that need to be controlled.

Extreme weather events have begun to devastate the world. Being able to predict fires, droughts, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes would reduce the risks to communities and decrease death tolls. AI tools can help to predict extreme weather events. While it’s impossible to entirely predict these events, AI tools are more effective and more accurate than traditional predictive models are.

Tools for action 

Tools for action are the ways in which meaningful change can be enacted, AI is used to figure out what the best tools for action may be. We typically only think of AI tools as being tied with scientific work and technical changes. However, AI tools can also be used in social and policy related ways.

By compiling and organizing data, AI tools can make it easier and quicker for action groups to create compelling arguments to present to policy makers. Remote sensing is a similar form of AI. This type of AI tool compiles data from satellite data sources to identify areas that need protection or improvement. It is often used to deal with infrastructure, identifying ecosystems that need protecting and tracking land usage.

AI tools are also ideal for urban planning, which can help to improve cities and towns in ways that reduce pollution and increase livability. They can identify areas where small changes could have a large impact, such as adding solar panels or green roofs to common structures like bus stops. Alternatively, they can be used on a larger scale to address road congestion and create more walkable cities. 

Final thoughts

Climate change is a serious and frightening issue that is the responsibility of every one of us. Thanks to AI tools, we can identify better ways to decrease our impact and increase our chances of having a livable planet for future generations.

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Why is AI a game-changer in climate change? What data shows us so far

Written by: Archie Williamson | Posted: 16-01-2024

Why is AI a game-changer in climate change? What data shows us so far

This is an AI-generated image created with Midjourney by Molly-Anna MaQuirl

Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing humanity today. The potential for mass extinctions and extreme weather to devastate populations is becoming more likely the longer we avoid taking action.

As individuals, we are encouraged to consider the small daily changes we can make to decrease our impact on the planet. These small steps help, but corporations are the primary polluters and the only ones really capable of having an impact on the climate crisis. Without government intervention and tough regulations, it is unlikely that we’ll see any positive change.

But how do we know what to do or what changes will have the greatest impact? This is where artificial intelligence (AI) comes in.

Much of the AI news that we regularly hear involves sensationalized stories about how AI is taking over and will control what we see and buy without us even realizing it. In reality, AI has a far wider range of uses than simply advertising and social media influence.

When looking at the ways that we can use artificial intelligence for climate change solutions, we see just how impressive and varied AI technology can be. Below are some of the ways that artificial intelligence is being used to help address the climate change crisis.

Climate Change AI, an organization working to bring AI solutions regarding climate change to the attention of a wider public, break down the types of AI solutions into four categories: mitigation, adaptation, climate science and tools for action.

Mitigation

Climate change AI tools and strategies for mitigation aim to make the damage we have already done less severe. Mitigation is one of the first steps that needs to be taken. Mitigation tools come in different forms, but all are designed to change how the future unfolds.

Our power grids are essential to society functioning but creating enough electricity for our daily usage has a massive environmental impact. Mitigation AI tools for electrical systems are one solution. Supply, demand and price forecasting AI tools make green energy more appealing to energy companies because they can determine when and how to make the biggest profits on it.

Power grid emissions modeling using AI allows energy companies to get a more accurate image of the power grid, how it works and where potential issues are likely to appear. This means that emissions can be minimized after problem areas are identified, which can then be strengthened before an accident occurs.

Adaptation

Adaptation tools are AI tools that help us develop ways to survive in a future where our climate is more severe. These tools acknowledge the reality of climate change but are meant to figure out ways to make the planet and our societies more resilient and robust.

One of the main areas that AI adaptation tools are used is in predictive maintenance. Our necessary infrastructure, such as power grids, roads, rail lines and bridges, are all threatened by extreme weather events and the effects of climate change. AI adaptation tools can model potential disasters and stresses to predict possible outcomes. This also allows any concerned parties, such as governments or corporations, to prepare for disasters before they happen and build stronger infrastructures.

Another important area that AI adaptation tools are being used is to increase food security. A changing climate means traditional growing patterns are being disrupted. AI tools can identify how widespread these changes are and locate the areas and plants that are best suited to each other, even if they don’t follow traditional crop schedules. 

Climate science

AI climate science tools work to help us better understand the climate, which should allow us to better predict how things may change so that we can address issues before they happen. Lab sciences are able to prove their hypotheses by testing them in laboratories. Climate scientists don’t have that luxury. AI tools can bridge that gap.

Climate modeling is the most important work that AI tools can do. Accelerating climate models can help scientists build close approximations of how particular aspects of the climate will change depending on specific factors. This can help us develop targets we need to meet to reduce climate change or to identify the specific pollutants that need to be controlled.

Extreme weather events have begun to devastate the world. Being able to predict fires, droughts, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes would reduce the risks to communities and decrease death tolls. AI tools can help to predict extreme weather events. While it’s impossible to entirely predict these events, AI tools are more effective and more accurate than traditional predictive models are.

Tools for action 

Tools for action are the ways in which meaningful change can be enacted, AI is used to figure out what the best tools for action may be. We typically only think of AI tools as being tied with scientific work and technical changes. However, AI tools can also be used in social and policy related ways.

By compiling and organizing data, AI tools can make it easier and quicker for action groups to create compelling arguments to present to policy makers. Remote sensing is a similar form of AI. This type of AI tool compiles data from satellite data sources to identify areas that need protection or improvement. It is often used to deal with infrastructure, identifying ecosystems that need protecting and tracking land usage.

AI tools are also ideal for urban planning, which can help to improve cities and towns in ways that reduce pollution and increase livability. They can identify areas where small changes could have a large impact, such as adding solar panels or green roofs to common structures like bus stops. Alternatively, they can be used on a larger scale to address road congestion and create more walkable cities. 

Final thoughts

Climate change is a serious and frightening issue that is the responsibility of every one of us. Thanks to AI tools, we can identify better ways to decrease our impact and increase our chances of having a livable planet for future generations.