Machine Learning for Climate Change
Article by Niharika Deokar
ML for climate change
These days, everyone strives to work in fields like data science, machine learning or we can say computer science in general. Even though computer science has been here for decades, it is somehow the “hot topic” of today’s world. Be it our basic needs like mobile phones (yeah, we have to accept that it's a basic need now, however bad it sounds), laptops to other important aspects of survival including hospitals and medical care, data science is applied and used everywhere. Now that we have talked about data science, let’s understand what it actually is. Data science is the branch of computer science that deals with handling, and analysis of data and its future use like training models on it and understanding the world around us. Machine learning is on similar lines, in layman’s terms: it is the art of training various models on previous pre-existing data to predict the happening or otherwise of an event.
Now that people from every domain have captured and acquired data science or machine learning which has led to better working of their systems and expanded its use cases, why should we let Climate Change be at the back? Yes, there has been work here that has been done in this domain, but people need to look into this interdisciplinary field more, the one that we beautifully call: ML for Climate Change. Applications you ask? Yes, there are many. As the drill goes on, some of them include Prediction of the Carbon footprint of foods, identification of bird calls in soundscapes, estimation of carbon emissions, and so on.
We can all agree that every person needs the motivation to do something be their career path or their passion, their interest for that field/cause exists somewhere which shooks them to the core to work for something. Seldom does a person do something in which he/she isn’t interested. Let me list out some of the factors that can be an awesome source of motivation for you for choosing this field. The 1.5°C ultimate goal, if you have been well versed in the topic that we duly discuss: Climate Change, you know that the major environmentalists and global agreements to limit the Earth’s warming to 1.5 degrees since IPCC launched its special report in 2016. Career option: As already discussed, Machine Learning has been a massive source of opening to jobs almost everywhere in the world. All in all, it is an upcoming job field that has infinitesimally fewer chances of going downhill. And anyway, it’s always good to be one of those who help out others, one who can even prevent major mishaps thus saving many people and helpless animals out there.
What can YOU do?
Understand the things that we do daily that impact the climate, and read the direct applications of ML for climate sciences. Some of the sources can be: Kaggle(explore different datasets and comprehend the code that has been written, try and find better solutions to such problems), read research papers from various journals that publish about climate change like Springer, ScienceDirect, Nature Journal, International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, and so on..(yes, if you have an interest in this field, reading and understanding other credited work will be of utmost importance), reading different blogs on this same on a website like Medium would also help one to grasp this knowledge.
In conclusion, thinking about our impact on climate has become indispensable and everyone should try to by and far work for our Earth cause if we damage her and make it an inhabitable place so will the repercussions befall resulting in our bleak chances of survival.
P.S. If you wish to work for the same don’t forget to consider volunteering/working for organisations like Work on Climate, Climate Change AI and There is No Earth B :)