As the weather becomes increasingly uncertain and severe, the need to predict the effects of the climate crisis is also growing. According to recent research, almost half a million people have died in natural disasters due to extreme weather in the last 20 years. Another report by the United Nations reveals that climate-related incidents have increased dramatically since the 1980s. In light of all this, European scientists are working on creating the digital twin of the earth. So how can Earth's digital twin exist and what can it bring to humanity?
Earth's digital twin is a simulation that will help visualize natural events and human activities on the planet, as well as to predict the near future by tracking them. This project, which allows monitoring the health of the planet, will be able to simulate the Earth's connection to human behavior, paving the way for goals that support sustainable development.
What Goals Does Earth's Digital Twin Have?
The main goal of scientists in building a sensitive digital twin is to provide reliable information and make predictions about extreme weather and climate change. This project, which can respond to the immediate challenges and goals that the planet has, strengthens Europe's efforts for a better environment. The digital twin that will be created will be a virtual representation of many processes on the planet's surface, including human influence on water, food and energy systems.
The European Union describes its projects as an ambitious project that will simulate the atmosphere, ocean, ice and land with unrivalled accuracy, providing forecasts such as floods, droughts and fires days and even years ago.
Earth's digital twin will also allow leaders to see the effects of weather events and climate change on society and measure the effects of different climate policies. For example, hypothetical scenarios such as building wind farms across Europe and information about where to plant crops during climate change will be provided through this system. If leaders plan to build a two-metre-high embankment in the Netherlands, it may be revealed after examining the data on the digital twin that the embankment will provide possible protection against extreme events expected in 2050.
How Will The Process Work?
In the past, climate and weather forecasts have focused either on local regions or on larger global systems. This new project, which scientists are working on, will bring together natural knowledge as well as human actions to depict the complex processes of the entire Earth System.
Using the digital world model to track the course of evolution is also among the researchers ' ultimate goals. So observational data will be continuously incorporated into the digital twin in a real-time way to predict possible future orbits. In this way, the digital twin will be able to represent almost all processes on the Earth's surface as realistically as possible.
The digital twin of the world is also intended to be an information system that develops scenarios that show more sustainable development plans and thus better inform policies. The digital twin will also be used in the strategic planning of fresh water and food resources or wind farms and solar power plants.
In order to take this big step in the digital revolution, scientists emphasize that Earth Sciences must work together with computer science. In a recent publication in nature Computational Science, the team of Earth Science and Computer Science researchers discussed the challenges and what concrete measures they want to use to advance this project, which they see as possible.
In the past, weather and climate modeling used different approaches to simulate the Earth System. While older climate models represented a large set of physical processes, they typically omitted small-scale processes. However, these small-scale processes are also necessary for more precise weather forecasts. The digital twin will bring both areas together and enable high-resolution simulations depicting the complex processes of the entire Earth System.