As AI Helps Climate Forecasts, It Causes Climate Crisis Of Its Own

Rahul Pandit Pexels

AI has become critical to weather forecasts, revolutionizing the practice of climate science.

In November, Google launched GraphCast. Google management wrote:

GraphCast predicts weather conditions up to 10 days in advance more accurately and much faster than the industry gold-standard weather simulation system – the High Resolution Forecast (HRES), produced by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).

The idea that a company that had little expertise in weather forecasting could create a system so advanced and so quickly is almost beyond imagination. 

Like Bitcoin and other energy-hungry technologies, AI has a climate footprint problem. AI has enhanced the ability to detect and predict the effects of climate change. However, huge carbon emissions are created because large computer systems are needed to run AI applications. 
CBC reports that AI-assisted forecasts could help several large industries, particularly agriculture. At this point, an exact energy consumption figure for AI computer-based systems has not been accurately calculated. Priya Donti, co-founder and chair of Climate Change AI told the CBC, “We really have to be on the lookout for the growth in AI emissions footprint.”. AI helps solve the climate crisis problem while it creates another.

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