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Harnessing artificial intelligence for climate science

18 September 2019

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Over 700 Earth observation satellites are orbiting our planet, transmitting hundreds of terabytes of data to downlink stations every day. Processing and extracting useful information is a huge data challenge, with volumes rising quasi-exponentially.

And, it's not just a problem of the data deluge: our climate system, and environmental processes more widely, work in complex and non-linear ways. Artificial intelligence and, in particular, machine learning is helping to meet these challenges, as the need for accurate knowledge about global climate change becomes more urgent.

ESA's Climate Change Initiative provides the systematic information needed by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. By funding teams of scientists to create world-class accurate, long-term, datasets that characterise Earth's changing climate system, the initiative is providing a whole-globe view.

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