A.I., or Artificial Intelligence, has taken the world by storm. The emergence of new technologies with ever-increasing process power has resulted in the generation of highly complex algorithms that led a machine, to all appearances, to think for itself. The ways A.I. can change human lives, the way people work and think, and the way we deal with problems are truly infinite. One of the first words in which A.I. can use humanity, and perhaps the most important, is climate change.
Climate change has long cast its dark shadows on life on Earth with ever-increasing temperatures, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and several other ways. It has been perceived as a war that humanity has long been losing. However, Artificial intelligence might just be the weapon it needs to turn the tables or at least one of the more extensive collections of tools that can help us fight better.
Fighting climate change and AI
AI, in its presents, is already helping scientists fight climate change. The work of scientists involves working with data – collecting, compiling, analyzing, etc., to create prediction models, actionable information or useful information to assist in making better decisions. When it comes to climate change, all these steps might be far more complex as the whole planet falls under the study. That is where A.I. comes in and can help us develop strategies to better combat climate change. The following are some of the ways in which it can help scientists.
1. Better climate change data analysis and prediction modelling
A.I. is capable of minimizing the human effort required for processing data, analyzing it and creating better prediction models. Applying these benefits to climate change can help scientists better understand the phenomenon tha ever before. Further, it can help detect anomalies and even patterns that might otherwise have gone unnoticed by human beings. Such additional discoveries can help create better climate mitigation strategies.
2. Energy optimization
Energy consumed by various sectors, enterprises, etc., can be optimized through automation brought by machine learning. Further, A.I. can also assist enterprises in discovering sustainable and renewable energy resources. Scientists can develop efficient systems that can discover practical solutions for sustainable development on a real-time basis.
3. Better climate monitoring and early warning systems
Climatic change has resulted in environmental disasters like hurricanes, floods, wildfires, etc. While good early warning systems already exist, they don’t always produce accurate data. A.I. can help change this by helping scientists build better algorithms for the purpose.
4. Smarter agricultural practices
Agriculture has a severe effect on the environment. Pesticides, fertilizers, deforestation, soil erosion, etc., are some of the ways in which agriculture affects the environment. A.I. can help scientists better understand the impact and how it can be reduced in a way that also optimizes the production of crops.
5. Climate laws, finance and policy-making
Government, finance and other institutions are often at a loss on how to make appropriate laws, rules, policies, etc., for climate change in a way that optimizes the financial aspects and reduces the risk of unintended consequences. A.I. can access the data better than ever before and help scientists provide valuable insights to assist these institutions in effective decision-making.
6. Carbon capture and sequestration
Carbon capture and sequestration (C.C.S.), sometimes called carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS), is a system of processes that involves capturing carbon dioxide (the biggest contributor to the greenhouse effect) emissions from various sources, including factories, power plants, industrial facilities, large-scale emitters, etc.; then storing and utilizing them. That helps reduce the addition of carbon dioxide and thus reduces the greenhouse effect and resultant global warming. Presently C.C.S. is too costly to be economically viable. Scientists are researching ways to make it more effective, and A.I. is now helping them with that. The goal of C.C.S. is to prevent CO2 from being released into the atmosphere, contributing to the greenhouse effect and global warming.
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.s)
There are several questions that the readers may have about A.I. and its contribution to fighting climate change. The following are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.s) :
Question: Isn’t A.I. bad for the environment?
Answer: Though A.I. involves extensive use of resources, its negative impact on the environment is minimal, while its positive effects can be revolutionary. One way it may affect the environment is by involving the use of drinking water for keeping servers cool. However, research is being done to reduce that.
Question: Are there any ethical considerations involved?
Answer: It is crucial to ensure social justice in policies or laws that may be developed with the assistance of A.I.
If the reader has any other questions, they should feel free to ask them here.
The Bottom Line
One can easily wrap up the above discussion by concluding that A.I. has excellent potential to assist scientists in fighting climate change but is not a complete solution in itself.