Scientists build ‘digital twin’ of Earth to predict our future

  • Scientists have built an AI-based ‘digital twin’ model of Earth
  • It’s designed to monitor, simulate, and predict Earth’s future climate in great detail
  • Its name: DestinE

Published on Jun 12, 2024 at 8:49 PM (UTC+4)
by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

Last updated on Jun 13, 2024 at 6:24 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

The EU has launched an AI-powered ‘digital twin’ of Earth to predict the future of the planet and its climate, in particular.

Announced by the European Commission today, the model is designed to improve the accuracy of climate predictions.

In order to do this, it will monitor and simulate Earth’s climate in great detail.

READ MORE! Supercomputer that simulates entire human brain will switch on in 2024

How will it help predict the future of Earth?

This is only the first iteration of Destination Earth or DestinE.

It’s hoped that the model will grow and evolve over the next decade to ‘support the green transformation’.

Scientists predict that, within this timeframe, a complete digital twin of the Earth should be completed.

There are currently two models of DestinE.

One is for extreme weather events, while the second concerns climate change adaptation.

This should help scientists to know how food security will be impacted by a heatwave, whether storms will flood a city, or where to position a wind farm to make it most efficient.

The minds behind it are confident about the possibilities it will bring.

Supercomputers from NASA were used to create a video showing what it’s like to fall into a black hole.

Plus, in virtually the dark side of this project, another supercomputer simulation has predicted the year of human extinction on Earth.

How does it work?

It’s powered by Europe’s high-performance computers (EuroHPC).

That includes Finland’s LUMI supercomputer.

In addition, AI will help give data processing speeds a leg-up.

Speaking of supercomputers, OpenAI and Microsoft are reportedly planning to build a $100 billion AI supercomputer.

The data used will come from satellites, like the ones in the EU’s Copernicus program, IoT sensors on the ground, governmental data, and data gathered from oceans, cities, and forests.

“DestinE means that we can observe environmental challenges which can help us predict future scenarios – like we have never done before,” enthused EU’s antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager. 

“This first phase shows how much we can achieve when Europe puts together its scientific excellence and its massive supercomputing power.”

What’s next?

The DestinE program was first launched in 2022 and, since then, over $325 million (€300 million) has been dedicated to it in total

Today signposts the first phase drawing to a close.

Entering the second phase, scientists will receive their second installment of $163 million (€150 million) to fund their work.

As for the third phase, the scientists behind the DestinE program are waiting for the agreement of the final Digital Europe program 2025-2027 to be hashed out.

# Tags - Earth, future, Science, Space


Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

London-based Amelia cut her journalistic teeth covering all things lifestyle, wellness and luxury in the UK capital. Fast-forward a decade and the experienced content creator and editor has put pen to paper for glossy magazines, busy newsrooms and coveted brands. When her OOO is on you can find her spending quality time with her young family, in the gym or exploring the city she loves.