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Attribution Science and AI: Unraveling the Complexity of Climate Change

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Sakchi Khandelwal
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Attribution Science and AI: Unraveling the Complexity of Climate Change

The world is witnessing an unprecedented rise in extreme weather events, a trend that can be traced back to human-induced climate change. This connection is made possible through the advancements in a field known as attribution science, where researchers are now able to more accurately determine the causes of various climatic shifts and extreme weather patterns.

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Unraveling the Complexity of Climate Change

Attribution science employs intricate climate models to simulate an event thousands of times under current conditions. These simulations are then compared to a model that excludes anthropogenic factors, adjusted to pre-industrial times. This comparison illuminates the altered likelihood of such events due to climate change. For instance, a heatwave in Canada that registered temperatures up to 49.6 degrees Celsius was found to be around 2 degrees cooler in the absence of human-induced climate change.

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From Weather Events to Global Implications

But the implications of attribution science extend beyond the weather. It sheds light on the frequency and intensity of extreme weather, and the subsequent economic, environmental, health, and social repercussions. For example, severe flooding in Italy and extreme drought in Greece exemplify the vulnerability of societies to such events. It's not just about understanding these connections, but using them to adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

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AI in Climate Research and Mitigation

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is emerging as a significant tool in this endeavor. The United Nations climate change summit, COP28, emphasized the role of AI in improving climate and weather models to better understand and predict extreme weather events. Projects are in progress to harness AI to enhance predictions of extreme weather by understanding the underlying causes of such events. It's a testament to the convergence of technology and climate science, aimed at safeguarding the future of our planet.

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