How Can Artificial Intelligence Help in Climate Change?

Last updated: May, 2023

How Can Artificial Intelligence Help in Climate Change?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing how we can approach climate change. 

With its ability to process vast amounts of data, we can use the technology to make better decisions and come up with innovative solutions to the climate crisis.

From optimizing renewable energy usage to creating personalized carbon reduction recommendations, AI can educate employees faster, reduce human error, and find and even predict natural disasters with greater accuracy.


How Can Artificial Intelligence Help in Climate Change? 


Strategies employing AI to reduce carbon footprint are pivotal for sustainable development, offering a path towards a greener future. 

Here are six ways AI is already tackling climate change and how it can help your business.


1. Optimizing Renewable Energy 


With its ability to draw on massive volumes of data and find patterns of energy use and areas of inefficiency, there’s a lot you can do with AI to optimize renewable energy use.

Once you feed the algorithms enough data, you can use the technology for:

  • Smart Thermostats: Adjust heating and cooling systems according to user behavior and weather conditions to maximize efficiency.
  • Smart Grids: AI can predict demand and optimize energy distribution, creating a more sustainable grid. It can automatically reroute power to areas with a high demand and help prevent overloads.
  • Renewable Energy Layouts: By analyzing wind patterns, AI can determine the best placement for wind turbines to ensure maximum energy production.

That’s what Solar Forecasting by IBM Research is doing with the power of AI. By using machine learning algorithms, the AI-based solar forecasting system analyzes historical weather patterns to predict cloud movements.

The result?

The AI tool generates 30% more accurate solar energy forecasts compared to traditional methods.


RELATED: How Can AI Create a Sustainable Future


2. Forecasting Natural Disasters 


How can artificial intelligence help in climate change? By predicting natural disasters.

Using its vast data processing capabilities, the technology can provide comprehensive real-time surveillance of the Earth’s surface and help identify threats with precision. 

Sipremo, a start-up from Brazil, is a leading AI tool in this category. It’s intelligent decision-making and predicts in advance where, when, and which climate disaster will occur.

It allows governments and businesses to act before events occur and mitigate the negative impact, avoid, or take advantage of the predicted scenarios.


RELATED: X AI Climate Change Solutions You Need to Know About


3. Personalized Recommendations to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint 


AI’s data processing capabilities extend further than energy usage and weather patterns. 

With enough information to feed the algorithm, it can analyze individual consumption and suggest personalized actions to reduce emissions.

For companies, it’s a method to encourage a culture of sustainability, improve employee engagement, and facilitate awareness training on autopilot.

Emission Sentri’s platform integrates with your existing emission data sources to provide intelligent GenAI recommendations to employees. 

It brings visibility to your net-zero goals and helps everyone understand how they can contribute to your reduction plan, driving behavioral change at scale.


RELATED: Generative AI for Sustainability: Is It Possible?
Personalized Recommendations to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

4. Recycling More Waste


Methane is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere, and according to the EPA, it accounts for 16% of global emissions.

How can artificial intelligence help in climate change and reduce waste and methane? 

By preventing recoverable material from being sent to landfills.

The more we can recycle and reuse, the more we’re creating a circular economy and reducing our impact on the environment.

Greyparrot is using AI to recover more resources with waste intelligence. It helps recycling facility managers and producers recycle more and waste less.

Its AI has 67 waste categories and identifies, on average, 86 tonnes of recoverable material every week.


5. Designing Energy-Efficient Buildings 


A sustainable future means designing buildings that are built to last and have the smallest impact on our environment.

Using AI to reduce carbon footprint and drive sustainability in architecture has long-term economic benefits. It decreases energy costs and human error and creates buildings that are both visually appealing and eco-friendly.

Here’s how:

  • Energy efficiency: Using AI generators, the algorithm can suggest designs that maximize natural light to minimize energy consumption. 
  • Material selection: AI can help elevate the lifecycle of materials like durability, recyclability, and biodegradability and recommend more eco-friendly alternatives.
  • Predictive analysis: By simulating how a building will function in various climate scenarios, architects can use AI to optimize a building’s performance and improve the design for optimal energy efficiency. 

6. Mapping Deforestation 

AI is revolutionizing the fight against the climate crisis by mapping the impact of deforestation, utilizing satellite imagery and advanced machine learning algorithms.

AI tools can identify regions with large historical changes, create and validate project baselines, and reliably measure the carbon stocks in a project area. 

Space Intelligence is one of the leading AI tools for deforestation. Its goal is to achieve zero deforestation and mass restoration by providing accurate data on forest coverage and carbon storage.

So far, it’s mapped more than 1 million hectares of land across 33 countries.


The Need for a Balanced Approach: Could AI Accelerate Climate Change?


To answer the question, “How can artificial intelligence help in climate change?” We must address the technology’s environmental impact.

AI systems and data centers drain energy resources, often from non-renewable sources, and contribute to carbon emissions. 

Moreover, the production and disposal of AI technology creates e-waste and turns AI for sustainability into a paradox.

The solution?

Finding a balance between energy-powering AI operations and sustainable practices.

This looks like:

  • Optimizing AI algorithms for energy efficiency.
  • Utilizing renewable energy sources to power AI operations.
  • Investing in green computing technologies.
  • Developing AI solutions specifically aimed at environmental protection.

The Green Potential: AI for The Environment

As you can see, AI for the environment is possible. It has a lot of potential to help with climate change, but there is a catch-22. 

While these algorithms can give us faster solutions to climate problems, we need to make sure we are balancing the energy consumption to avoid undoing the good.

By embracing the technology with an informed approach, we can use its full potential to safeguard our planet for future generations and the long-term success of your business.

The change starts with your employees.

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