Elevating climate resiliency across the United Kingdom

STFC Hartree Centre is collaborating with IBM and Royal HaskoningDHV to expand application of IBM’s geospatial AI technologies to climate resiliency in aviation.

In 2021, the Hartree Centre and IBM collaborated to explore the application of next-generation technologies including AI from IBM to address climate risk and resiliency across the UK.

Now, the Hartree Centre IBM and Royal HaskoningDHV, a global consulting engineering company, have collaborated to establish a new service, leveraging IBM’s geospatial AI tools, that seeks to automate and scale climate risk assessment processes for organisations. The service’s first use case will focus on the aviation sector, in which IBM’s geospatial AI will assess impacts in weather-related issues, including:

  • Short-term impact of extreme weather on aviation operations.
  • Long-term impact of climate change on future airport operations and infrastructure.

In addition, STFC Hartree Centre and IBM, through the Hartree National Centre for Digital Innovation, are advancing a new area of research with Dark Matter Labs and Lucidminds, as part of their TreesAI project. The research project will apply IBM geospatial AI technologies to their Green Urban Scenarios (GUS) model to map urban locations where trees can be planted to help alleviate the risk of surface water flooding. The effort will eventually inform an end-to-end digital planning platform for urban planners, project developers and green urban investors across the UK.

Kate Royse, Director at STFC’s Hartree Centre, said: “There has never been a more important time to prepare for the challenges posed by climate change, both from an industrial and societal perspective. Here at STFC’s Hartree Centre we’re excited to be working with IBM and Royal HaskoningDHV, using advanced AI technologies to help the aviation industry prepare for climate risks, and become more resilient against the effects of extreme weather. Equally, our collaboration with IBM and Dark Matter Labs on the TreesAI project through our HNCDI programme will enable smarter decisions based on accurately predicting and managing flood risk, which is critical to all future city planning. Advanced AI technologies are a key driver in enabling us to build a more resilient world against the adverse impacts of climate change.”

Djeevan Schiferli, Climate Intelligence Business Strategist, Royal HaskoningDHV said: “Operational and strategic planners in every company require a clear understanding of how weather and climate-related incidents affect their business operations. By harnessing AI and geospatial data, we will supercharge our climate risk assessments on a global scale.”

Chloe Treger, TreesAI UK Lead, said: “Over 300,000 properties are at risk of surface-water flooding. Without action, this figure is set to almost double by 2055 due to climate change and urbanisation. Through our collaboration with IBM and STFC, we have been able to observe how trees contribute to reducing surface water flooding risks across the city under different scenarios, using GUS. This has enabled us and our partners to make the business case for tree planting and maintenance. After a successful pilot in Glasgow, we are now looking for further locations to embed this powerful data-enabled decision-making tool.”

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