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Ignacio Lopez-Gomez
,
Amy McGovern
,
Shreya Agrawal
, and
Jason Hickey

Abstract

Heat waves are projected to increase in frequency and severity with global warming. Improved warning systems would help reduce the associated loss of lives, wildfires, power disruptions, and reduction in crop yields. In this work, we explore the potential for deep learning systems trained on historical data to forecast extreme heat on short, medium and subseasonal timescales. To this purpose, we train a set of neural weather models (NWMs) with convolutional architectures to forecast surface temperature anomalies globally, 1 to 28 days ahead, at ~ 200 km resolution and on the cubed sphere. The NWMs are trained using the ERA5 reanalysis product and a set of candidate loss functions, including the mean squared error and exponential losses targeting extremes. We find that training models to minimize custom losses tailored to emphasize extremes leads to significant skill improvements in the heat wave prediction task, compared to NWMs trained on the mean squared error loss. This improvement is accomplished with almost no skill reduction in the general temperature prediction task, and it can be efficiently realized through transfer learning, by re-training NWMs with the custom losses for a few epochs. In addition, we find that the use of a symmetric exponential loss reduces the smoothing of NWM forecasts with lead time. Our best NWM is able to outperform persistence in a regressive sense for all lead times and temperature anomaly thresholds considered, and shows positive regressive skill compared to the ECMWF subseasonal-to-seasonal control forecast after two weeks.

Free access
Amy McGovern
,
Ann Bostrom
,
Phillip Davis
,
Julie L. Demuth
,
Imme Ebert-Uphoff
,
Ruoying He
,
Jason Hickey
,
David John Gagne II
,
Nathan Snook
,
Jebb Q. Stewart
,
Christopher Thorncroft
,
Philippe Tissot
, and
John K. Williams

Abstract

We introduce the National Science Foundation (NSF) AI Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, and Coastal Oceanography (AI2ES). This AI institute was funded in 2020 as part of a new initiative from the NSF to advance foundational AI research across a wide variety of domains. To date AI2ES is the only NSF AI institute focusing on environmental science applications. Our institute focuses on developing trustworthy AI methods for weather, climate, and coastal hazards. The AI methods will revolutionize our understanding and prediction of high-impact atmospheric and ocean science phenomena and will be utilized by diverse, professional user groups to reduce risks to society. In addition, we are creating novel educational paths, including a new degree program at a community college serving underrepresented minorities, to improve workforce diversity for both AI and environmental science.

Full access
Sid-Ahmed Boukabara
,
Vladimir Krasnopolsky
,
Stephen G. Penny
,
Jebb Q. Stewart
,
Amy McGovern
,
David Hall
,
John E. Ten Hoeve
,
Jason Hickey
,
Hung-Lung Allen Huang
,
John K. Williams
,
Kayo Ide
,
Philippe Tissot
,
Sue Ellen Haupt
,
Kenneth S. Casey
,
Nikunj Oza
,
Alan J. Geer
,
Eric S. Maddy
, and
Ross N. Hoffman

Abstract

Promising new opportunities to apply artificial intelligence (AI) to the Earth and environmental sciences are identified, informed by an overview of current efforts in the community. Community input was collected at the first National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) workshop on “Leveraging AI in the Exploitation of Satellite Earth Observations and Numerical Weather Prediction” held in April 2019. This workshop brought together over 400 scientists, program managers, and leaders from the public, academic, and private sectors in order to enable experts involved in the development and adaptation of AI tools and applications to meet and exchange experiences with NOAA experts. Paths are described to actualize the potential of AI to better exploit the massive volumes of environmental data from satellite and in situ sources that are critical for numerical weather prediction (NWP) and other Earth and environmental science applications. The main lessons communicated from community input via active workshop discussions and polling are reported. Finally, recommendations are presented for both scientists and decision-makers to address some of the challenges facing the adoption of AI across all Earth science.

Open access