Climate change is a huge problem for the world and the result of what humans are doing is destroying every single life in the world. For what? According to us, in order to have more quality and wealthy life. However, what if life on earth ends, how can be more wealthy and quality life? It scares me a lot but I ignore it in my daily life because of many reasons such as work, education, personal life, etc. like many of us. Today I do not want to ignore it and would like to bring this topic to see and try to explain how AI can help climate change.
There are different kinds of sources to get information and statistics regarding the latest climate science-related updates and one of them is the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). I want to share some statistics with you to make us understand how the situation is becoming serious. According to United in Science Report 2020:
- Concentrations of the major greenhouse gases, CO2, CH4, and N2O continued to increase in 2019 and 2020.
- The 5-year period from 2016–2020 is expected to be the warmest on record with an average global mean surface temperature of 1.1 °C above the pre-industrial era (1850–1900).
- Major impacts have been caused by extreme weather and climate events. A clear fingerprint of human-induced climate change has been identified in many of these extreme events.
- Water is a threat – floods and droughts account for 90% of the impacts of natural disasters worldwide
- There is a growing chance of annual global mean near-surface temperature temporarily exceeding 1.5 °C above the 1850–1900 pre-industrial level, being ~20% in the 5-year period ending in 2024.
- Within the next 5 years, the Arctic is predicted to continue to warm at more than twice the overall global rate.
Those are only a few of the serious results of the climate change.
Maybe artificial intelligence might open new doors to manage the impacts of climate change and protect the planet. Why not? Because we teach them how to respond when they sense of problems or different things. For example, we need more renewable energy and it means that we need integrating systems. Therefore, AI is a good option to help to create that system and to manage power cut, and improve energy storage. I am sure most of you have seen a wind turbine and wind companies are using AI to produce electricity. For sure while using it, they work on real-time weather data and make predictions.
There is a good example of how AI is used for energy:
- Artificial intelligence can enhance the energy efficiency, too. Google used machine learning to help predict when its data centers’ energy was most in demand. The system analyzed and predicted when users were most likely to watch data-sucking Youtube videos, for example, and could then optimize the cooling needed. As a result, Google reduced its energy use by 40 percent. If you want, you can get more details here: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/google-deepmind-data-centres-efficiency
Another example might be improving weather forecasts to help keep people safe. As you know, people who live in a different land suffer from tropical storms and heavy precipitation, and by using a high accuracy rate, AI can predict them. If I am not wrong the last Hurricane in Puerto Rico was in 2017 and destroyed many things includes the rainforest. One of the most important things that have been taught to us by teachers throughout our education was how important trees are to the ecosystem and you can imagine how the Hurricane damaged our ecosystem. Of course, while prediction, AI can figure out what the various species of trees will affect because when forests are damaged, vegetation decomposes and emits more CO2 into the atmosphere. This is a kind of circle – if climate change results in more extreme storms, the forest will be damaged, and as a result, global warming will be more exacerbating. Perhaps, using AI we can develop some solutions for it, or as I try to explain above we can predict how global warming will be more exacerbate and we can take the actions.
In Washington State, Long Live the Kings is trying to restore declining steelhead and salmon populations. With a grant from Microsoft, the organization will improve an ecosystem model that gathers data about salmon and steelhead growth, tracks fish and marine mammal movements, and monitors marine conditions. The model will help improve hatchery, harvest, and ecosystem management, and support habitat protection and restoration efforts. This is a good example of using energy.
There are many areas to integrate AI for climate change, too and they are:
- Making cities more livable and sustainable
- Smart agriculture
- Smart transports
- Better climate predictions
- And more
AI has different uses as well as negative sides. I just wanted to start briefly about the relationship between AI and climate change and in the next article, I will talk about more. However, I just want to say is that does not matter if there are exoplanets, currently, we live on this earth and we should protect it – It means we should protect ourselves.