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Opinion: Artificial Intelligence Could Save Earth

AI is used to analyse satellite data for mapping ice surfaces, changes over time, says Dr. Mukesh Kwatra, Smiling Tree

Opinion: Artificial Intelligence Could Save Earth
Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications are used for battling climate change, for conservation of fresh water bodies, for energy management, waste management, among others

With Earth being in the middle of climate crisis, there have been talks about the ways to save our planet over the past few years. Here a technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to achieve this. AI was valued at USD $62.3 billion in 2020, growing with a CAGR of 40.2 per cent it is expected to value USD $997.77 billion by 2028. This machine learning driven platform aids in identifying patterns using huge chunks of data. The respondents involved in AI projects state that in the next 3 to 5 years AI enabled medical devices are predicted to reduce average global emissions by 18.3 per cent. As per reports AI enabled use cases have the potential to reduce EEI (Economic Emissions Intensity) i.e., the total number of greenhouse gas emissions for every unit of GDP fr9m 11 to 45 per cent by 2030.

AI applications are used for battling climate change, for conservation of fresh water bodies, for energy management, waste management, natural resource conservation, wildlife protection and a lot more. Following are some of the ways AI helps save our planet.

Also Read: COP26: What Is Climate Change Adaptation, And Why Is It Important For Human Survival?

Fighting Climate Change

Climate change is the biggest threat for Earth. By 2100, rising sea levels are projected to wipe out $14t per year from the global economy, upending business and infrastructure while endangering the lives of humans, plants and animals.

Al is used to analyze satellite data for mapping ice surfaces, tracking how they change over time. Satellites and drones are used to explore the cryosphere, and algorithms trained to parse data to create a precise picture of each unique ice surface and determine its melting rate. Building monitoring tools and predicting melt into the future requires cutting edge technology and AI tools. Without it, there would be large uncertainty on future predictions of glacier and ice sheet melting and sea level rise.

Conservation Of Fresh Water Bodies

AI technology such as satellite remote sensing can help us to monitor, map and potentially predict when and where algae blooms will occur. Formation of harmful algae blooms are slowly decreasing the quality of fresh water bodies worldwide. These toxic overgrowths can have negative impacts on fisheries and tourism industries, and be harmful to people and animals.

Soil Conservation

Soil degradation is one of the rapidly growing issue causing a huge amount of stress to the farmers as it takes a longer period of time for generating just 3 centimetres of topsoil and the rapidly increasing soil degradation causes a huge havoc.

The use of AI technology could help the problem of rapidly increasing soil degradation as it helps to marsh the land by using complex algorithms with the help of robots and drones to monitor the soil health as well as detect erosion.

Forecasting Natural Disasters

Fire detectors built with AI technology help send warnings to the foresters by detecting smoke or by keeping an eye on infrared thermal data.

With the help of analysing real time data and simulation of weather and climate events, AI helps in determining strategy, seek solutions to vulnerable problems, provide response through emergency information capabilities and more.

Air Pollution Detection

AI enabled technology helps the planet by measuring and identifying air quality and sources of pollution. The use of AI will help the air quality experts to identify and respond to accidental emissions quickly and more easily. Apart from this, predicting mortality rate, creating emission maps, and evaluating financial costs for emergency responses will become easier than ever.

Since automobile vehicles are a huge source of generating air pollution enabling AI based vehicles will help to reduce oil consumption and decline greenhouse gas by 2 per cent to 4 per cent annually. AI system-based vehicles are predicted to reduce travel time by 25 per cent and idling time by 40 per cent.

Smart Agriculture And Food Systems

The global AI in agriculture market was valued at around USD $1.1 billion in 2019 and is estimated to grow and value more than USD $3.8 billion by 2024. AI enables smart agriculture and create smart food systems as the use of AI augmented machines use robots for corrective actions like early detection of crop issues and diseases while it also helps in decision making process.

Field farming using AI itself has a market share of 60 per cent. The use of AI will help in the protection of our planet as it provides the experts with timed nutrition to livestock also suggests returns and inputs monitoring the demand and supply of goods.

AI increases the capacity to hold climatic extremes while also increases the resource efficiency of the agricultural industry as AI reduces the damage to the ecosystem by cutting down the use of fertilizers, water and pesticides.

Reducing Food Waste

Food wastage has a huge toll on the food chain market and creates environmental issues as these food wastes produces greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide which are harmful for the environment.

AI has the potential to enable environment sustainability. AI techniques can change how the world works by optimizing efficiency, increasing productivity and help in reducing the carbon footprints. As with all complex global challenges, there is no silver bullet. AI technological revolution must work towards tackling the environmental issues and healthier green Earth.

Also Read:India Estimated To Have Suffered Average Annual Loss Of USD 87 Billion From Extreme Weather Events: UN

(Written by Dr. Mukesh Kwatra founder of Smiling Tree, a voluntary initiative working towards increasing the green cover.)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.


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