India harnesses AI for advanced weather forecasting amid climate challenges

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is testing AI-driven models for more accurate predictions of extreme weather like floods and droughts.

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India is leveraging AI to enhance its weather forecasting capabilities in response to the escalating challenges posed by climate change. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is testing AI-driven climate models to improve the accuracy of predictions for extreme weather events such as floods and droughts.

With global warming intensifying weather systems, AI is seen as a cost-effective solution that could revolutionise forecasting methods. The IMD aims to create higher-quality forecast data at a reduced cost by integrating AI into its existing models. It is crucial for a country of 1.4 billion people and the world’s second-largest producer of essential crops.

In pursuit of this integration, the government has taken a proactive step by establishing a dedicated center to explore the synergies between AI and traditional weather models. Moreover, the use of AI in generating public alerts for heatwaves and diseases is already underway, and experts emphasise the need for better data to maximise AI’s potential in weather forecasting.

Why does it matter?

Global warming has led to more severe weather clashes in India, resulting in a rise in extreme weather events that have claimed nearly 3,000 lives this year, according to the Centre for Science and Environment.

Despite AI’s potential for combating climate change, the overlooked carbon footprint of AI usage poses a challenge. A recent study by researchers from the AI startup Hugging Face and Carnegie Mellon University reveals that creating an image with a potent AI model consumes as much energy as fully charging a smartphone. While the energy-intensive nature of training massive AI models is acknowledged, the study underscores that most of their carbon footprint arises from their active usage.