You can’t manage what you don’t measure. It’s an old business adage. This is truer than ever, as the world faces the triple global crisis of climate change, loss of nature and biodiversity, pollution and waste.
With more climate data available than ever before, how we access, interpret and act on that data is critical to managing these crises. One of the core technologies is artificial intelligence (AI).
So what exactly does AI mean?
“AI refers to systems or machines that perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, and that can be iteratively improved over time based on the information they collect,” says the United Nations Environment Programme. said David Jensen, coordinator of the Digital Transformation subdivision at (UNEP). program.
Jensen highlights several areas where AI can play a role in tackling environmental issues, from designing more energy-efficient buildings to monitoring deforestation to optimizing renewable energy deployments. increase.
“This can be on a large scale, such as satellite monitoring of global emissions, or on a more granular scale, such as smart homes that automatically turn off lights and heating after a certain amount of time,” he adds. .
Real-time analytics notifications
Launched in 2022, UNEP’s World Environment Situation Room (WESR) is one digital platform that harnesses the power of AI to analyze complex, multifaceted data sets.
Supported by a consortium of partners, WESR curates, aggregates, and visualizes the best available Earth observation and sensor data to provide near real-time insights into multiple drivers such as CO2 atmospheric concentrations, changes in glacier mass, and sea level rise. informs analysis and future predictions.
“WESR is designed to be a user-friendly, demand-driven platform that brings data to government agencies, classrooms, mayor’s offices, and boardrooms,” says Jensen. – WESR provides this,” he adds.
“Over time, our goal is for WESR to become like a mission control center for planet Earth, where we can seamlessly monitor all of our key environmental metrics to drive action.”
Monitoring methane emissions
One of the UNEP-led initiatives within the WESR digital ecosystem is the International Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO). It leverages AI to revolutionize approaches to monitoring and mitigating methane emissions.
The platform will serve as a global public database of empirically validated methane emissions. Leverage AI to strategically interconnect this data with science, transparency, and policy action to inform data-driven decision-making.
“IMEO’s technology allows us to collect and integrate disparate methane emissions data streams to establish an empirically validated global public record of methane emissions with an unprecedented level of accuracy and granularity. “It’s a lot of work,” says Jensen.
“Reducing methane emissions in the energy sector is one of the most rapid, feasible and cost-effective ways to limit the impacts of climate warming, and achieving these reductions requires a Data-driven actions that can be made will play a big role,” he adds.