AI- The Trick Up Our Sleeves in the Fight Against Global Warming

Earlier this month a report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientist believe that 1.5C will be reached by 2040, 10 years earlier than previously predicted, and it may even happen earlier if emissions aren’t cut down in the coming years. What does a temperature rise of 1.5C mean? Well, more extreme weather - heat waves, droughts, floods, and tropical cyclones, displacement due to the rising sea levels and melting arctic. These changes are inevitable according to the report after accessing all scenarios.

On a less “Humanity is doomed” note, artificial intelligence has been helping the fight to mitigate these effects. An international team of researchers led by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and The Alan Turing Institute have created a new artificial intelligence tool called IceNet to allow for a more accurate forecast into the Arctic seas ice condition aim to mitigate the impact on arctic wildlife and coastal communities affected by sea ice loss. IceNet is almost 95% accurate in predicting whether sea ice will be present in a couple of months. IceNet system is based on deep learning, so the system is trained on thousands of years of climate simulation data, accompanied by decades of observational data.

The Arctic is a region on the frontline of climate change and has seen substantial warming over the last 40 years. IceNet has the potential to fill an urgent gap in forecasting sea ice for Arctic sustainability efforts and runs thousands of times faster than traditional methods
— Lead author Tom Andersson, Data Scientist at the BAS AI Lab

Another artificial intelligence lead system helping to fight against climate change is BrainBox AI, built by a Montreal based start-up company, to reduce the overall energy consumption in an office tower and other big buildings by optimising the existing heating and cooling systems, with large buildings contributing to 20% of global emissions, BrainBox AI works is when connected to the building it analyses and adjusts the existing heating and cooling systems automatically, not just reducing energy use but costs as well.

That’s how you start to have a pivotal moment. Imagine if you start to do that with Manhattan or Montreal or L.A. and you just have these huge clusters,”
“It has the potential to scale so rapidly that it’s perceived by the experts at COP26 as a type of technology we need if we want to make an inflection point on the actual trend (of global warming).
— Jean-Simon Venne, the chief technical officer and co-founder of BrainBox

With more money being pumped into artificial intelligence research, I believe more technologies like these will be created to add to our arsenal in the fight against global warming.

Thumbnail Credit- Focus on Africa