A digital twin of our planet is to simulate the Earth system in future. It is intended to support policy-makers in taking appropriate measures to better prepare for extreme events. A new strategy paper by European scientists and ETH Zurich computer scientists shows how this can be achieved.
To become climate neutral by 2050, the European Union launched two ambitious programmes: “Green Deal” and “DigitalStrategy“. As a key component of their successful implementation, climate scientists and computer scientists launched the “Destination Earth” initiative, which will start in mid-2021 and is expected to run for up to ten years. During this period, a highly accurate digital model of the Earth is to be created, a digital twin of the Earth, to map climate development and extreme events as accurately as possible in space and time.
Observational data will be continuously incorporated into the digital twin in order to make the digital Earth model more accurate for monitoring the evolution and predict possible future trajectories. But in addition to the observation data conventionally used for weather and climate simulations, the researchers also want to integrate new data on relevant human activities into the model. The new “Earth system model” will represent virtually all processes on the Earth’s surface as realistically as possible, including the influence of humans on water, food and energy management, and the processes in the physical Earth system.
Source: “Scientists begin building highly accurate digital twin of our planet”, Simone Ulmer, Zurich ETH News