It’s no secret that the environment is in a state of crisis – it is changing faster than ever before, with the rate of species extinction at 1,000 times its historical average and climate change threatening to have a devastating impact on all life on Earth.
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According to the World Resources Institute, we are experiencing an increase in extreme weather events that have resulted in billions of dollars’ worth of damage.
The environment is in trouble. The planet is warming, the oceans are rising, and we can’t seem to get out of our way.
How do we save ourselves without going back to our caveman days? How do we innovate our way out of this mess?
What if we could use technology to eliminate this problem?
That’s exactly what artificial intelligence (AI) is doing. AI is helping us solve some of our biggest environmental problems in ways that were never before possible.
The environmental crisis is a complex problem that requires a complex solution. The good news is that AI can help us find solutions to many of the challenges we face in this area.
Artificial Intelligence: A New Kind Of Conservation Tool
The future of AI is all about data-driven solutions. That includes the environment, too.
Artificial intelligence is already reshaping industries, but it’s not stopping there. There are many ways in which AI is helping to guide sustainable practices in the world around us. From saving forests to improving energy efficiency, AI has the potential to be an invaluable tool in our quest for a greener future.
As AI becomes more sophisticated, it will be able to help us tackle some of our biggest environmental challenges.
7 Ways AI is Helping Drive a More Sustainable Planet:
Reducing the Carbon Imprint
The world is facing an existential threat from climate change. We need to find new ways of producing energy that doesn’t generate as much carbon dioxide (CO2). This can have a massive impact on the environment because the amount of CO2 produced by energy generation is enormous.
Artificial intelligence can help us make intelligent decisions about our resources and how we use them. For example, Qarnot Computing uses AI to optimize their heating systems based on real-time weather forecasts, so they don’t waste energy heating unused space.
Biodiversity and Conservation
AI has played an important role in helping us understand more about our planet’s biodiversity. It has allowed us to collect data on species distribution and behavior to predict how they respond to changes in their environment.
This helps us make informed decisions about managing their habitats to protect them against threats like climate change or deforestation. But AI isn’t just about saving wildlife—it can also help us protect endangered species from extinction by predicting threats they may face in the future based on historical data and current conditions.
By using AI as a tool, we can monitor changes in wildlife populations over time and make better decisions about conservation efforts.
Smart agriculture is one such technology that can help save our environment from the effects of climate change. The goal of smart agriculture is to increase food production while also improving soil quality and reducing water contamination.
Agriculture contributes to global greenhouse gas emissions, with over 20% of all emissions coming from farming activities. This number could increase by an additional one billion tonnes by 2050 if we don’t take steps now to reduce its impact on the environment.
The benefits of smart agriculture include:
- Higher crop yields
- Natural resource management
- Improved soil health & crop yield
- Lower carbon emissions from machinery and fertilizer applications
- Less Pesticide and Herbicide Use
Prediction of Natural Disasters
The ability to predict natural disasters has been one of the biggest achievements of AI so far. These algorithms are trained on historical data and then used to predict future events. This can be seen in China, where several companies have started using this technology to predict earthquakes.
The government has also begun using these algorithms to detect floods and landslides. This will give them ample time to evacuate people from the area and take precautions to reduce the damage caused by these natural calamities.
Plastic recycling is one way AI helps us reduce our carbon footprint. About 91% of all the plastic ever produced isn’t recycled. Most plastics end up in landfills or the oceans, where they cause serious harm to marine life.
Thanks to AI, however, we might be able to find a solution to this problem. Several companies are already working on ways to use artificial intelligence to efficiently recycle plastics—using AI to help track down used plastics so they can be recycled instead of thrown out or burned.
Discovering New Species and Predicting Where They Will Thrive
The current rate of species extinction is 1,000 times faster than it should be. If we don’t do something soon, we’ll lose around 10% of all species on Earth by 2100.
To avoid this fate, we need to save as many species as possible while protecting their habitats. But where do we start?
AI can help us answer that question. It can help us find new species and predict where they will thrive to protect them from threats like deforestation and urbanization.
Monitoring the Oceans
As the oceans absorb almost all of the excess heat produced by global warming, they become warmer, more acidic, and less oxygen-rich. As a result, they’re changing faster than in millions of years.
But we know less about these changes than we do about what’s happening on land—mainly because there aren’t enough people monitoring our oceans for change. That’s where machine learning comes in.
Scientists have been able to track sea-level rise over time, using machine learning algorithms to analyze satellite data. The result is a more accurate picture of the cause of climate change.
Let’s Draw The Curtain
The environmental problems we face today are by no means simple. The issues span the globe and go back decades. It will take time to find solutions, and artificial intelligence has become a valuable tool in this process.