The climate crisis presents a formidable challenge, but Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers a powerful ally in our efforts to combat it. Here’s a snapshot of the ways in which AI is being harnessed:
1. Optimising Renewable Energy
AI systems developed by Google and DeepMind are being used to enhance the efficiency of renewable energy systems, a critical step in reducing carbon emissions. Predictive modelling and data analytics improve energy grid management, ensuring the reliability and cost-effectiveness of renewable sources like solar and wind power.
2. Climate Modelling and Prediction
The United Nations Energy Program (UNEP) manages vast datasets to create more accurate climate models. These models enable scientists and policymakers to anticipate extreme weather events, assess climate change’s impact on ecosystems, and develop strategies for adaptation and mitigation.
3. Carbon Emissions Reduction
Buildings account for 40% of global carbon emissions. Tech start-up Mortar.io uses AI to plan carbon reduction schemes for entire real estate portfolios in minutes, rather than months. Eugene.ai is an emission intelligence platform designed to help manufacturers that work in the metal and mining, oil, and gas industries decarbonise their operations. They use satellite imagery and machine learning to track, trace, and reduce emissions by 20-30%.
4. Biodiversity Preservation
AI supports biodiversity conservation by monitoring and protecting endangered species. Autonomous drones equipped with AI algorithms detect illegal poaching activities, and machine learning analyses ecosystem sensor data for informed conservation decisions, as reported by ABC News.
5. Agriculture and Food Security
John Deere and IBM have both developed revolutionary AI systems to assist agriculture crop management, waste reduction, and increasing yields. Precision agriculture, driven by AI, provides real-time data for informed decisions, ensuring food security and reducing agriculture’s environmental impact.
6. Sustainable Transportation
AI is now ubiquitous in transport management, helping optimise traffic management, route planning and the development of electric and autonomous vehicles. These innovations reduce emissions by optimising driving patterns and minimising idling time.
Although Artificial Intelligence may assist in the fight against climate change, it still requires large amounts of energy to process the data and power the computer systems. Both humans and machines, however, are learning fast.
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