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How AI can help us predict changes in arable land

Scientists have used AI to show that the amount of arable land will increase by 2050 but it will be focused in the northern regions

Currently, about 40%of croplands and pastures are under threat due to the increasing average temperature and greenhouse gas emissions. (Pexels)

By Team Lounge

LAST PUBLISHED 21.02.2024  |  06:00 PM IST

Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly being used in various fields to predict how the future might look like. In a new study, scientists have used AI to analyse how agricultural land suitability can change in 25 years and found that the amount of arable land will increase, but it will be focused in the north.

The study, published in the journal IEEE Access, predicted how agricultural lands will be distributed based on various climate models and shared socioeconomic pathways scenarios. The analysis was focused on the regions of Eastern Europe and Northern Asia, a Press Trust India (PTI) report revealed.

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According to scientists, by 2050, demand for food will increase by 110% globally. However, about 40%of croplands and pastures are under threat due to the increasing average temperature, high concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and several other factors.

To understand what the future looks like for croplands, a research team from Skoltech, the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences and other leading research organizations, used a significant amount of open data and AI to analyze how agricultural land suitability can change in 25 years. They found that the number of croplands would increase in the northern territories, a press statement explains.

For this study, scientists assessed three data sets for three different climate change scenarios: a sustainable, low-emission green energy future, a 'business-as-usual' trajectory with moderate emissions, and a high fossil fuel dependency scenario with significantly increased greenhouse gas emissions, the statement elaborated. The study focused on the regions of Eastern Europe and Northern Asia.

"We have obtained a model that predicts with good accuracy what is now and used this model to predict what will happen in 2050," Valery Shevchenko, a research engineer at Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Russia said in the statement. “We can only predict trends depending on different scenarios of climate development and attract people's attention to developing strategies for the future today," Shevchenko added.

The researchers also added that their findings are in line with the recommendations from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC emphasises the importance of detailed regional assessments for adapting to climate variability and ensuring food supplies, the statement added.

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