Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to answer questions about sea level rise and its potential impacts on coastal communities. Scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science are using AI to better understand how rising seas will affect coastal areas in the future.
The research team, led by Dr. David Forrest, is using AI algorithms to analyze data from satellite images and other sources to create detailed maps of shorelines around the world. These maps can then be used to predict how sea levels may change over time due to climate change or other factors. The researchers hope that this information will help inform decisions about how best to protect vulnerable coastal communities from flooding and erosion caused by rising seas.
Dr. Forrest explains that traditional methods of studying sea level rise have been limited because they rely heavily on manual labor-intensive processes such as surveying coastlines with boats or aircrafts, which can be costly and time consuming. By utilizing AI technology, however, scientists are able to quickly process large amounts of data in order to generate more accurate predictions about future changes in sea levels than ever before possible with traditional methods alone.
Using a combination of machine learning algorithms and high resolution satellite imagery, the research team has already created detailed digital elevation models (DEMs) for several locations along the East Coast including New York City’s Jamaica Bay area; Long Island Sound; Chesapeake Bay; Delaware Bay; Narragansett Bay; Cape Cod Bay; Martha’s Vineyard/Nantucket Islands region; Barnegat Inlet/Bay Head region off New Jersey’s Atlantic coast ;and Virginia Beach/Norfolk area . The DEMs provide an unprecedented level of detail regarding topography—including features like sandbars—which could not previously be captured through traditional survey techniques alone .
With these new tools at their disposal , scientists can now make more informed decisions when it comes to protecting vulnerable populations living near coasts from floods or storms associated with rising seas . For example , if a particular coastline is found particularly susceptible based on its topography , local governments might consider investing resources into building stronger infrastructure such as seawalls or levees designed specifically for that location . Additionally , knowing where certain areas are most likely going underwater due to higher tides could also help inform evacuation plans during extreme weather events like hurricanes .
Ultimately , Dr . Forrest hopes his work will lead towards greater understanding among policymakers regarding what needs done in order prepare our coasts for a changing climate : “We need better ways of predicting where flooding is likely so we can plan ahead accordingly .” He believes that artificial intelligence provides us with just such an opportunity — one which could ultimately save lives while helping ensure sustainable development along our nation’s fragile shorelines well into the future .