A group of European scientists in Zurich recently started work on an ambitious plan: to build a digital twin of the planet. With a virtual version of the Earth, they hope to be able to visualize different scenarios of what the future of the planet could look like in terms of climate and climate change. The more similar it is to Earth, the more accurate it will be. Of course, not so much as not to distinguish it from the real thing.
As they describe in research published in Nature this week, the idea is to create some kind of sandbox OR you can Study what impacts on the Earth and its health would have different events.. For example, what would happen to sea level off the coast of Barcelona if we increase temperatures by 0.5 degrees Celsius over the next four years?
To get such accurate data the simulated digital planet must have an immense amount of data collected in the real world. The relief of the entire globe, the meteorological history of the last decades, the ecosystems of each area, its flora and fauna … The researchers hope that all this will help them discover what steps will help and what will not help mitigate climate change.
Destination Earth is the name of the project. It’s a ten-year work program funded by the European Union. It is also part of the broader objectives of the European Union such as carbon neutral by 2050 (measures such as stopping combustion vehicles are also relevant here). With this virtual planet, you could, for example, see and understand the impact of each of the measures you want to take to be more environmentally friendly. That is, to find more effectively what measures are effective in the medium and long term.
The interesting thing here will be to see if they are capable of doing it and how much data will be needed. Such a system is scalable, so cover time you can enter more and more data to make it more accurate and smart. However, weather forecasting is one of the areas where more resources are currently used and where supercomputers are used the most. If large quantities are already needed to predict few variables and in some areas, the power required to simulate an entire world will be spectacular.
They indicate that data that occurs in the real world will continually feed into the digital twin to make it more accurate. That is, if for example there is a hurricane on the Atlantic coast, it will be added to the simulated twin and with the repercussions it had. In this way, it will be an identical twin up to the present and therefore refine your planned future options to make them more accurate to what can actually happen.
An interesting factor that sets it apart from current weather forecasting systems is that it will include much more data. What are they looking for include and take into account human activity and decisions too. That is to say, from deforestation or human constructions to the consumption of energy, food or water that we carry out. We will see, in a few years, how this project evolves.
Via | Phys
More information | Nature