Digital twin of Earth: an ambitious feat to simulate climate events

A group of European scientists in Zurich have started work on an ambitious plan recently: to build a digital twin of the earth. 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 meteorological changes. The more similar to Earth, the more accurate it will be. Of course, not so much as not to distinguish it from the real one.

As they describe in an investigation published in Nature these weeks, the idea is to create a kind of sandbox where we can study what impacts on the Earth and its health would have different events. For example, what would happen to sea level on the coast of Barcelona if we raised temperatures 0.5 degrees Celsius in the next four years.

To obtain such accurate data the simulated digital planet will have to have an immense amount of data collected from 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 to find out what steps will help and will not help to mitigate climate change.

Destination Earth for digital twin planet

Destination Earth is the name of the project. It is a ten-year work program funded by the European Union. Likewise, it is part of larger objectives of the An interesting factor that sets it apart from current weather forecasting systems is that it will include a lot of other data. They want it to include and take into account human activity and decisions as well. That is, 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. Union such as being carbon neutral by 2050 ( measures such as ending combustion vehicles also enter here). With this digital twin of planet, you could, for example, see and understand what impact each of the measures that you seek to take to be more environmentally friendly would have. That is, to find more efficiently which 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 it will require. Such a system is scalable, so as time goes by, more and more data can be entered to make it more accurate and intelligent. However, meteorological predictions are one of the fields where more resources are currently used and where supercomputers are used the most. If huge quantities are already required to predict few variables and in certain areas, the power required to simulate an entire world is going to be spectacular.

Digital twin of earth

They indicate that data that occurs in the real world will continually be incorporated 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 has had. In this way it will be an identical twin up to the present and therefore it will reduce the options of the future that it predicts so that they are more certain to what can really happen.

An interesting factor that sets it apart from current weather forecasting systems is that it will include a lot of other data. They want it to include and take into account human activity and decisions as well. That is, 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.

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