RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – IBM and NASA are teaming up to create a huge data base linked with artificial intelligence in what they say is a collective effort to track the impact of climate change and also project future impact. There’s a role for Red Hat, too.

“NASA has turned to AI to accelerate climate change discoveries as extreme heat has impacted North Carolina and many parts of the world this summer,” an IBM spokesperson says.

“The historic heat has amplified the risk of wildfires, drought and costal anomalies. Mapping the aftermath of these events can help communities predict which areas are most at risk in the future and plan where to focus their adaptation efforts.”

A sample of IBM-NASA geospatial data.

The project was announced Thursday.

“The essential role of open-source technologies to accelerate critical areas of discovery such as climate change has never been clearer,” said Sriram Raghavan, Vice President, IBM Research AI. “By combining IBM’s foundation model efforts aimed at creating flexible, reusable AI systems with NASA’s repository of Earth-satellite data, and making it available on the leading open-source AI platform, Hugging Face, we can leverage the power of collaboration to implement faster and more impactful solutions that will improve our planet.” [Read more about Hugging Face and the partnership online.]

So what’s involved in the effort?

“By teaming with IBM, NASA will be able to analyze massive amounts of satellite images and climate data much faster. IBM is providing an updated AI foundation model to help NASA track past U.S. floods and wildfires and help predict future areas of risk,” the spokesperson explains. “It will all be open sourced on the ai platform Hugging Face. With later updates, the model could be used to track deforestation, predicting crop yields, or detect and monitor greenhouse gasses.”

Raleigh-based Red Hat – owned by IBM – is part of the partnership.

“IBM’s decision to open source the model follows a long commitment to making AI accessible to everyone, from its support of Red Hat OpenShift to enable portable cloud computing, to its work with the Ray and PyTorch communities to coordinate and streamline AI workflows,” IBM notes in a blog.

Read more about the project online.