Thanks to The European Sting in partnership with the World Economic Forum to bring you this article.
By: Simon Torkington, Senior Writer, Formative Content
- New technologies are proving to play a key role in the urgent climate adaptation process.
- Artificial intelligence is being used to detect wildfires and send early warnings to forest communities.
- And Google is using satellites and machine learning to issue detailed flood warnings.
It is now inevitable that we will have to learn to live with the effects of climate change.
Despite the agreement reached at the recent COP 27 summit, we are nowhere near at least some of the consequences of the global warming that has already occurred.
According to NASA’s Earth Observatory: “Since 1880, Earth’s average global temperature has increased by at least 1.1 degrees Celsius. Most of the warming has occurred since 1975, at about 0.15 to 0.20 degrees Celsius per decade.”
Adapting to climate change is also critical as efforts to mitigate climate change continue. These 3 technologies can help us adapt to a changing climate.
1: Google Flood Center
When rivers, oceans and lakes pose a threat to life or property, Google’s Flood Hub alert system uses machine learning to warn people at risk. Flood Hub alerts include easy-to-understand flood maps with details of hazard areas and flood heights relative to adult height.
Google has been providing flood alerts since 2018. The early focus is on high-risk areas in Bangladesh and India. In 2021, the system issued 115 million alerts in areas where 360 million people live. The system is now expanding to cover more countries in South Asia and South America, and hopes to take the service globally.
2: Using artificial intelligence to adapt to climate
According to consultancy BCG, artificial intelligence will play an important role in climate adaptation. In its Framework on Using AI to Combat Climate Change, BCG identified several areas for climate adaptation through AI.
“AI can be used to improve hazard prediction for regionalized long-term events (such as sea level rise) and immediate, extreme events (such as hurricanes), among other possibilities. These applications include managing vulnerability and exposure, for example by developing infrastructure that minimizes the impact of climate hazards,” BCG said.
An application by San Francisco-based Pano AI uses the technology to detect wildfires, alert homeowners and assist firefighters in containing fires. AI scans video feeds from mountaintop cameras to detect the first signs of wildfire outbreaks. It then alerts homeowners and first responders in the area.
3. IoT for water management
As temperatures rise and rainfall patterns are disrupted by climate change, using water wisely will become critical. Brazil, Italy, and Spain are using the Internet of Things (IoT) to manage and maximize the impact of agricultural water supplies.
In a report by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Cristina Bernal Aparicio and Siope Vakataki ‘Ofa found that “the Internet of Things has proven effective in reducing water consumption and energy costs, as demonstrated in implementations in Brazil, Italy and SWAMP project in Spain. Estimated water saving potential is between 18-38%.”
What is the World Economic Forum doing to tackle climate change?
Climate change poses an urgent threat that requires decisive action. Communities around the world are already experiencing increasingly severe climate impacts, from droughts to floods to rising sea levels. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report continues to rank these environmental threats at the top.
To limit the increase in global temperatures to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and as close to 1.5°C as possible, businesses, policymakers and civil society must advance comprehensive near- and long-term climate action consistent with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change The goal.
The World Economic Forum’s Climate Initiative supports scaling up and accelerating global climate action through public-private partnerships. The initiative spans multiple work streams to develop and implement inclusive and ambitious solutions.
This includes the CEO Climate Leaders Alliance, a global network of business leaders from across industries who develop cost-effective solutions to transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. CEOs use their position and influence with policymakers and corporate partners to accelerate transformation and realize the economic benefits of delivering a safer climate.
Contact us to get involved.
Put technology where it’s needed most
The potential of technologies to help us mitigate and adapt to climate change has yet to be fully exploited. The United Nations is urging more and faster action to develop, deploy and transfer climate technologies to developing countries. Most innovation in climate adaptation technologies takes place in the global North, but most of the people on the front lines of climate change impacts are in the global south.