IBM Harnesses Geospatial AI to Combat Climate Challenges, Partners with NASA

IBM, a global technology leader, has unveiled its latest geospatial AI initiatives aimed at addressing climate change. These efforts involve collaborations across various regions, leveraging advanced AI models tailored for geospatial applications.

Central to these initiatives is IBM’s geospatial foundation model, developed jointly with NASA. These models, trained on vast amounts of geospatial data like satellite images, aim to derive environmental insights and solutions related to climate change. Unlike traditional AI models, they utilize extensive climate-relevant data to accelerate analysis of various environmental aspects affected by climate change.

Alessandro Curioni, IBM Fellow and Vice President of Accelerated Discovery, emphasized the potential impact of these technologies in understanding and addressing climate-related events more efficiently. “AI foundation models utilizing geospatial data can be a game-changer,” he noted, “allowing us to better understand and address climate-related events with unprecedented speed and efficiency.”

Analyzing Urban Heat Islands in UAE

IBM and the Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) are collaborating to map urban heat islands in Abu Dhabi using a fine-tuned version of IBM’s geospatial foundation model. The goal is to understand the impact of local landscapes on temperature anomalies. Initial outcomes indicate a reduction in heat island effects, providing insights for future urban design strategies.

Reforestation and Water Sustainability in Kenya

In partnership with Kenya’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, Ali Mohamed, IBM supports the National Tree Growing and Restoration Campaign. This initiative aims to plant 15 billion trees by 2032, particularly in critical water tower areas affected by deforestation. IBM’s geospatial model powers a digital platform to track tree planting activities, aiding local efforts in restoring forests and measuring carbon sequestration impact.

Elevating Climate Resiliency in the UK

Collaborating with the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and Royal HaskoningDHV, IBM develops AI-driven tools for climate risk assessment in the UK. These tools will initially focus on assessing weather impacts on aviation operations. Additionally, the TreesAI research project aims to map areas suitable for tree planting to mitigate surface water flooding, offering a digital planning platform for urban developers.

IBM Extending Collaboration with NASA for Weather Forecasting

IBM and NASA have embarked on a new project to develop an AI foundation model dedicated to weather and climate applications. This collaborative effort aims to enhance the accuracy and speed of weather forecasting, predict wildfire conditions, and understand meteorological phenomena. IBM researchers will work closely with NASA to train and validate this model.