News, Culture & Society

At least 85% of Earth’s population is ALREADY affected by human-induced climate change

At least 85% of Earth’s population is ALREADY affected by human-induced climate change: AI combing through 100,000 studies from 1950s to 2018 finds ‘huge evidence’ of global warming

  • AI was trained to find evidence of climate change impacting the world
  • It determined 80% of the world has been affected – land that’s inhabited by 85% of the world’s population 
  • The technology analyzed data from 1951 through 2018 and found more than 100,000 studies were related to climate change


Artificial intelligence has made a disheartening discovery – 85 percent of the world’s population has already been affected by human-induced climate change.

The findings were made by German scientists, led by Max Callaghan from the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, who, according to the study, trained the system to ‘identify, evaluate and summarize scientific publications on climate change and its consequences.’

Researchers used machine learning to sift through data published from 1951 through 2018 and found more than 100,000 studies with evidence that shows 80 percent of Earth’s inhabited land has been impacted by climate change.

The results also uncovered an ‘attribution gap’ around the globe, where evidence is is distributed unequally across countries – ‘evidence for potentially attributable impacts are twice as prevalent in high-income than in low-income countries,’ according to the study.

 

Artificial intelligence has made a disheartening discovery – 85 percent of the world’s population has already been affected by human-induced climate change. Pictured are paramilitary police in China working to rescue residents during a flood in August

The AI was taught to identify climate-relevant studies, generating a list of papers on topics from disrupted butterfly migration to heat-related human deaths to forestry cover changes. 

Using location data from the studies, they divided the globe into a grid and mapped where documented climate impacts matched climate-driven trends in temperature and precipitation.

The study was recently published in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change. 

‘In this study, we develop an approach using machine learning – developing an algorithm that can recognize not just whether a study is about climate impacts, but the locations mentioned, the climate impact driver – whether the impacts were caused by temperature or precipitation changes – and the type of impacts described,’ Callaghan shared in a post on Carbon Brief. 

The team used location data for the study and divided world maps to show where the evidence in studies matched that in climate models.  

The results also uncovered an 'attribution gap' around the globe where 'evidence for potentially attributable impacts are twice as prevalent in high-income than in low-income countries,' according to the study

The results also uncovered an ‘attribution gap’ around the globe where ‘evidence for potentially attributable impacts are twice as prevalent in high-income than in low-income countries,’ according to the study

Using location data from the studies, they divided the globe into a grid and mapped where documented climate impacts matched climate-driven trends in temperature and precipitation

Using location data from the studies, they divided the globe into a grid and mapped where documented climate impacts matched climate-driven trends in temperature and precipitation

For each grid cell, the team asked the AI if it ‘is getting hotter or colder or wetter or dryer outside of the bounds of natural variability?’ said Callaghan.

Heating was then cross checked with climate models to see if the predictions match.

As a result, the researchers found 80 percent of the world – home to 85 percent of the global population – was noted in studies to have been impacted by climate change.

Researchers used machine learning to sift through data published from 1951 through 2018 and found more than 100,000 studies with evidence that shows 80 percent of Earth's inhabited land has been impacted by climate change

Researchers used machine learning to sift through data published from 1951 through 2018 and found more than 100,000 studies with evidence that shows 80 percent of Earth’s inhabited land has been impacted by climate change

The predictions for temperature and precipitation changes due to global warming also matched what was seen in previously made climate models 

Callaghan also found that research has disproportionately documented climate impacts in richer nations   and rarely was work published about highly-vulnerable areas.

For example, he said that trends in temperatures and rainfall in Africa could be linked to climate change.

‘But we won’t have many studies documenting the impacts of those trends, he told AFP, calling it a ‘blind spot in our knowledge of climate impacts.’ 

Climate-related research has grown exponentially in recent decades. 

EXTINCTION LOOMS FOR MORE THAN ONE MILLION SPECIES

Nature is in more trouble now than at any time in human history with extinction looming over one million species of plants and animals, experts say.

That’s the key finding of the United Nations’ (UN) first comprehensive report on biodiversity – the variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat.

The report – published on May 6, 2019 – says species are being lost at a rate tens or hundreds of times faster than in the past. 

Many of the worst effects can be prevented by changing the way we grow food, produce energy, deal with climate change and dispose of waste, the report said.

The report’s 39-page summary highlighted five ways people are reducing biodiversity:

– Turning forests, grasslands and other areas into farms, cities and other developments. The habitat loss leaves plants and animals homeless. About three-quarters of Earth’s land, two-thirds of its oceans and 85% of crucial wetlands have been severely altered or lost, making it harder for species to survive, the report said.

– Overfishing the world’s oceans. A third of the world’s fish stocks are overfished.

– Permitting climate change from the burning of fossil fuels to make it too hot, wet or dry for some species to survive. Almost half of the world’s land mammals – not including bats – and nearly a quarter of the birds have already had their habitats hit hard by global warming.

– Polluting land and water. Every year, 300 to 400 million tons of heavy metals, solvents and toxic sludge are dumped into the world’s waters.

– Allowing invasive species to crowd out native plants and animals. The number of invasive alien species per country has risen 70 per cent since 1970, with one species of bacteria threatening nearly 400 amphibian species.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk