The Future of Artificial Intelligence and Climate Change

Artificial Intelligence

What Is Climate Change?

Climate change is the biggest challenge the planet will ever face, Climate change occurs when changes in the earth’s climate system result in new weather patterns that remain in place for an extended period of time. This period of time could range from two or three decades to as long as millions of years.

The Future Of Life Institution has reported that by 2050 the earth’s population is expected to exceed 9 billion and by 2100 scientists predict that the global temperature will on average be 4°C warmer and sea levels will be 0.7m higher. These changes will be significantly negative across the globe and could possibly result in increased hunger, human health effects and extreme flooding.

In order to attempt to prevent these catastrophic events from happening and to tackle the world’s climate change issues we would need to adapt and incorporate all modern technologies and use them to their full capacity. An example of the type of technology that could help tackle climate change is the use of AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning.

What Is Machine Learning And Artificial Intelligence?

Machine learning and AI are both types of computer science, however they do differ slightly, machine learning is the scientific study of algorithm models. Computers and workstations use this study to perform tasks without being given specific instructions. Machine learning relies on patterns and automation. Where AI is an area of computer science that emphasises the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans, mimicking human like behaviour. Examples of artificial intelligence include driverless cars, speech recognition and image analysis.

How Can AI Effect Climate Change?

The expansion and development of AI in recent years has led to many scientists researching how this seemingly limitless technology can help with one of the largest threats to humanity: climate change. The suggestions of how AI can help combat climate change vary from satellite imaging through to monitoring of deforestation. Below are some examples explained.

Extreme Weather Predictions

Many of the most extreme climate conditions can not be predicted as they arise from complex systems such as ice sheet dynamics and cloud coverage change.

However, the use of AI can possibly help measure and analysis extreme weather conditions such as droughts, hurricanes and flooding. With the analysis and measurement of these extreme weather conditions that have taken place in the past, we can then use this information to closely predict future weather changes and prepare accordingly. Over the recent years there has been significant progress in using machine learning algorithms that have been programmed to analyse data from other extreme weather events to identify cyclones and atmospheric changes at early stages to help prepare for and potentially prevent these extreme weather changes,

Low Carbon Materials

9% of global emissions of greenhouse gasses come from concrete and steel. The use of AI and deep learning can help to reduce this number by aiding the development of low and non carbon alternatives. Artificial intelligence assists scientists in the discovery of new materials by allowing them to model the properties and behaviours of new chemical compounds. This can be done before significant amounts of time is wasted creating these sources manually and them not being appropriate, this can all be tested fairly quickly and inexpensively through the use of AI and machine learning.

Reducing Wasted Energy

Wasted energy from buildings across the globe accounts for more than a quarter of global energy related CO2 emissions and are considered to be one of the easiest fixes to help tackle climate change.

Buildings are typically long lived and are widely rarely renovated or updated with the times. Simply by adding a few smart devices to buildings to monitor temperature and energy use can reduce almost 20% of waste energy in a single building. If this was incorporated to large scale projects and buildings then the impact could be even larger. A significant change can be made to reduce climate change from such simple, quick and easy changes thanks to the development in technology.

Protecting The Seas

The Ocean Data Alliance is starting to incorporate the use of machine learning to provide data from satellites and ocean devices. Scientists can now monitor ocean mining, fishing, coral bleaching and the outbreak in ocean diseases affecting organisms .

With almost real time data, scientists and marine biologists be able to respond to problems in a much more efficient manner. Artificial intelligence can also help follow marine litter, monitor ocean currents and keep a close eye on rising sea levels.

Final Thoughts

Climate change is happening right now and it is happening at a scarily rapid pace. With the help of technological advancements, we can use machine learning and artificial intelligence to help slow down the speed at which climate change is taking place. When focusing on using the maximum potential that technology has to offer, it is important that we correctly dispose of e-waste in order to reduce the harmful effects of electronic waste has on our environment. As time and technology moves forward, the future is unclear but hopeful with AI on our side.


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