Climate Cast: University of Minnesota researchers tap AI to improve climate models

Code on a screen.
University of Minnesota researchers have joined a federal effort using artificial intelligence to improve the precision of climate models.
Markus Spiske via Pexels

Climate models all agree the Earth will warm significantly this century. But forecasting the precise magnitude of warming tells climate scientists much more about future extreme weather patterns and sea level rise. 

Now University of Minnesota Twin Cities researchers are part of a new $25 million climate modeling center funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation. Their mission: use big data and artificial intelligence to create more precise climate models that help us prepare for the inevitable disruptions ahead.

“If you’re living in New York City, should we build a seawall, and how tall should it be? If you’re living in California and Texas, what are the projections for water availability? Maybe we’ll have to choose some different crops [there],” said computer science and engineering professor Vipin Kumar is part of the team at the UM’s new climate modeling center.

“There are a whole bunch of planning decisions that people are going to have to make, and being able to understand what’s going to happen with the changing climate is extremely important,” he said.

To hear more from Kumar, click play on the audio player above or subscribe to the Climate Cast podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, or RSS.

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