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PLOS Climate Focus Topic: Artificial Intelligence for climate action

Over the coming months, PLOS Climate will be calling for submissions on a series of Focus Topics, identified by our editors as being of special significance in supporting evidence-based climate action. Peer-reviewed articles that align with these Focus Topics will be highlighted to our broad and interdisciplinary readership through blog posts and our social media channels.

Here we are excited to announce our first Focus Topic: Artificial Intelligence for climate action!

The potential applications- and governance- of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a topic attracting ever more attention among researchers, decision-makers, and the general public. In the global fight to mitigate and adapt to climate change, there is growing interest in the opportunities afforded by emerging AI technologies.

The potential uses of AI include improved prediction of climate events, hazards and impacts, helping to manage vulnerability and exposure and to deliver climate services and decision-support tools to specific constituencies and communities. Integration with earth observation technologies is a particularly promising avenue for monitoring, dissecting, and predicting large-scale climate impacts on ecological, agricultural, and social systems.

AI has very clear potential in the modelling of complex systems and analysis of big data, and can therefore play a role in the approaches to climate processes and of complex social-ecological systems involving cross-sectoral interactions, and in the design and management of efficient and resilient energy systems.

As in other areas of AI development and application, there are legitimate and important questions to be asked over the ethics of AI in climate applications, and we warmly encourage submissions that address these. We also encourage submissions that explore the energy and carbon footprint of AI technologies, and those that examine resources and capacity-building efforts for AI development.

Finally, as well as inviting submissions of research articles on the above topics and related lines of investigation, we are also calling for methods papers that demonstrate new methods, tools, or software in climate AI.

Ready to submit your work for this PLOS Climate Focus Topic? Here’s our step-by-step guide to the submission process. Make sure to mention the Focus Topic in your cover letter when you submit!

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