Study Reveals AI’s Promise in Monitoring Farm Carbon Footprint


  • AI enhances precision in farm emission tracking.
  • Farm emissions hold steady, urge AI-driven solutions.
  • AI revolutionizes climate action with farm emissions monitoring

Artificial Intelligence (AI) could prove to be a game-changer in the fight against climate change, particularly in tracking farm emissions, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota.

The potential of AI in tackling farm emissions

Gases emanating from farms have long been recognized as a significant contributor to climate-warming pollution. However, accurately quantifying emissions from specific fields has remained a daunting task for scientists. 

In a recent study, University of Minnesota researchers propose that with the assistance of AI and human input, this challenge could be effectively addressed. 

The scenario in the farm country reflects both the potential and challenges of combating climate change. While agriculture has been acknowledged for its capacity to sequester carbon, it also stands as a notable source of greenhouse gases. 

In the United States, agricultural emissions account for 10% of the nation’s greenhouse gas output, while globally, the figure stands at 25%. In Minnesota specifically, agricultural emissions have remained stable over recent decades, now ranking as the second-largest contributor to carbon releases, as revealed in a study released last year.

Addressing energy demands and sustainability concerns

Nevertheless, the increasing reliance on AI comes with its own set of challenges, particularly concerning energy consumption. With billions of users engaging in AI services, the energy demand for AI computing is rapidly emerging as a significant sustainability challenge for both the tech industry and the communities hosting vital infrastructure. 

The International Energy Agency (IEA) highlighted the growing energy demand of the tech industry in its latest report on global electricity usage. The report underscored the potential doubling of power consumption by the world’s data centers by 2026, with data centers in countries like Ireland already consuming a substantial portion of national electricity. 

In the U.S., driven by AI and other computing demands, data center energy needs are projected to rise significantly in the coming years.

Impact of AI on greenhouse gas emissions

The adoption of AI technology, necessitating greater computing power, is a key driver of increased energy consumption. Chipmakers such as NVIDIA are at the forefront of providing the necessary hardware for AI operations. 

However, a study by a data scientist at Vrije University, Amsterdam, warned that if all AI server units NVIDIA plans to deploy by 2027 operate at full capacity, they could consume over 85 terawatt hours of power annually, potentially leading to a substantial rise in greenhouse gas emissions.

While AI holds promise in aiding climate-related research and energy engineering, its expanding energy demand poses a challenge to efforts aimed at decarbonizing electricity sources. The mantra of “electrify everything” in the transition towards cleaner energy sources faces a potential setback due to the surge in energy demand from AI applications.

Max Schulze, from the Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance, voiced concerns over the feasibility of meeting escalating energy demands while simultaneously electrifying various sectors. The clash between increasing energy needs and the imperative to reduce emissions underscores the complexity of achieving sustainable energy goals in the AI era.

while AI presents innovative solutions for tracking farm emissions and addressing climate change, its surging energy consumption poses significant sustainability challenges. Striking a balance between AI advancements and energy efficiency is essential to ensure that technological progress aligns with global sustainability objectives.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Emman Omwanda

Emmanuel Omwanda is a blockchain reporter who dives deep into industry news, on-chain analysis, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and more. His expertise lies in cryptocurrency markets, spanning both fundamental and technical analysis.

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