Climate change and the accelerated occurrence of natural disasters could arguably be one of the greatest threats facing humanity. We’ve seen the disastrous impact the floods have had in KZN, causing loss of life, severe damage to property, and homelessness. It is essential to accurately predict climate change well in advance to determine ecosystem shifts and sea-level rise, but more importantly to plan for its potentially devastating impacts on human safety, food, and water security.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has awarded us the technology that can in 0.25 seconds, predict extreme weather. The technology is still in its early stages and is generally costly (R millions), but is something of a necessity that weather bureaus, meteorological research institutes, both private and public sector organisations can unite to invest in, given that the cost of the disasters we are seeing far outweigh that of the technology.
AI deployed and run on the correct NVIDIA GPU infrastructure (computing platform that transforms big data into super-human intelligence) can predict the behaviour of extreme weather events across the globe, days in advance. At 100,000 times faster than traditional numerical weather models, this is a significant step towards building a digital twin Earth.
Climate change models predict that the province will be hit by more extreme weather, more frequently, in the future. According to Junaid Kleinschmidt, Head of AI and Advanced Analyticsat Altron Systems Integration, the recent flood damage is a clear indication that the country needs to invest more in technology infrastructure for resilience and disaster recovery. “Altron Systems integration is the first NVIDIA DGC Compute NPN partner in South Africa and can ensure fewer damages from floods occur,” says Kleinschmidt.
Junaid Kleinschmidt would like to unpack the following points/factors on the infrastructure available through AI to predict extreme weather:
· Which AI tools are available
· What type of infrastructure is needed to support this technology
· How we can invest and share the costs of this technology by bringing weather bureaus, meteorological research institutes, and both private and public sector organisations into a coalition.