The 7 AI Environment Initiatives That Could Help Fight Climate Change

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As global climate change continues to pose significant challenges, scientists are leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and data technology to fight back. Here’s a look at seven pioneering initiatives that are harnessing AI to help protect and sustain our environment..

There’s no time to lose to confront the climate crisis, so researchers are harnessing innovative technologies to create a sustainable future. One of the most promising of these is artificial intelligence (AI), which, when combined with data processing capabilities, provides a vital tool for climate change mitigation. There’s a range of projects utilising AI to combat environmental challenges, demonstrating that technology can indeed be a powerful ally in this fight.

Earth Insight collaboration

One such initiative is Earth Insights, a venture spearheaded by tech giant Hewlett Packard in collaboration with Virginia-based non-profit, Conservation International. Together, they are leveraging data-processing technology to monitor biodiversity loss across global tropical forests. CI embarked on an ambitious data-collection operation over several years, capturing millions of photos across 16 sites to track environmental changes and the effects of climate change. The sheer volume of data, however, was overwhelming and impeded their research. HP intervened with their Vertica Analytics Platform, a database and query engine designed for cloud-based technologies. This tool allowed for the efficient processing of the collected images, thus enabling researchers to observe the impact of human activity, land use, and climate change on various animal species.

Biodiversity

The focus on biodiversity extends to the University of Berkeley, where scientists are diligently gathering data to understand climate change’s impact on diverse climates and species. Utilising field research in Australia, the Berkeley team is investigating changes in flora and fauna in response to evolving climates. Earth.org suggests that these findings could shape policy decisions by providing robust evidence of climate change impacts.

AI Environment Initiative: The Arctic

The potential of AI is not just confined to the ground; it’s being utilised in the Arctic as well. Polar bears are under an imminent threat of extinction, and to combat this, the San Diego Zoo and Northrop Grumman Corp have funded a project utilising unmanned aircraft systems. These sophisticated devices monitor the bears’ activities and ice formations. This invaluable data can inform conservation strategies and possibly help avert the extinction of this precious species.

Weather Crises

AI’s capabilities are also being deployed in predicting weather disasters, another significant issue linked to climate change. With AI tools, researchers can analyse weather patterns and provide early warnings for extreme weather events. This capability enables individuals to prepare for catastrophic events like storms and hurricanes, potentially saving lives and reducing damage.

Energy

AI’s potential extends to energy management as well. Climate change is largely driven by excessive and misused energy. Consequently, researchers are utilising AI to track global energy usage, helping those who consume too much energy to identify and rectify their consumption patterns.

An Actual Plan Bee

In addition to these broad-scale initiatives, AI is supporting community-based projects like Bumble Bee Watch. This programme collects data from people worldwide to monitor bees, a critical species for crop fertilisation. By understanding and tracking these essential organisms, we can make more informed conservation decisions that safeguard our ecosystems and food sources.

Intel Insight Rhinos

AI has found a role in wildlife conservation, as seen with the Intel Rhino Chip. This device, created by multinational tech company Intel, is attached to white rhinos, an endangered species, allowing for constant monitoring. By equipping rhinos with these chips, conservationists in South Africa can deter poachers and thus contribute to the recovery of this critically endangered species.

As these seven projects demonstrate, AI has significant potential in addressing the complex challenges posed by climate change. Though technology has historically contributed to environmental degradation, AI’s application in the environmental sector offers a clear path towards a more sustainable future.

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