IBM is teaming up with NASA to combat climate change with geospatial AI
Ahead of COP28, IBM today announced a partnership with NASA, Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, the Government of Kenya and the United Kingdom’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Hartree Center to do its part to efforts to combat climate change. .
The collaboration will lead to improved research and development in geospatial mapping and AI, in the hope of developing a basic multimodal weather forecasting model.
In addition to weather forecasting, the model will help combat climate change and its impacts by analyzing heat islands, mapping reforestation efforts and predicting the impact of extreme weather events.
A rainy renaissance
In the fight against climate change, new technologies can provide an edge in predicting and tackling extreme weather, in addition to analyzing the impact of projects such as reforestation.
With this collaboration, IBM hopes to produce a tunable foundational model to aid in weather and climate prediction that, when ready, will be open-source and publicly available to enable unhindered global research.
Last year, the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts began using AI emulators with historical data to generate forecasts more accurately than ever before.
It is worth noting that AI emulators are developed with the intention of performing one specific task from one dataset, but offer the advantage of not requiring High Performance Computing (HPC) solutions. Instead, these AI emulators can run on a desktop computer in minutes.
By creating a foundational model trained on the 40 years of weather observations within the MERRA2 dataset, pre-trained AI emulators can be developed and distributed to researchers, resulting in faster scientific discoveries.
“Climate change is a real and urgent problem that we must find new ways to address as quickly and efficiently as possible, including through today’s most advanced AI technologies,” said Alessandro Curioni, IBM Fellow and Vice President, Accelerated Discovery at IBM
“Basic AI models that use geospatial data can be a game changer, allowing us to better understand, prepare for and address the many climate-related events that impact the health of our planet in a way and at a speed that has never been seen before.
“We are hopeful that these technologies can help accelerate the speed at which we create and deploy solutions for a safer and healthier planet for future generations.”