Environment

Earth Science Startup Cervest Unravels Climate Volatility With AI

AI Platform Cervest, made up of an international team of academics, has just raised $4.8 million for its real-time climate forecasting platform.

06.11.2019 | by Christy Romer
Photo by Shashank Sahay on Unsplash
Photo by Shashank Sahay on Unsplash

As the weather gets wilder, our lives—and our livelihoods—are thrown further into danger. Crops are destroyed by floods, hurricanes rip through tourist attractions and wildfires engulf entire towns.

AI startup Cervest is well aware that all sorts of government and independent observatories are tracking climate volatility. But, it stresses that the sheer volume of data, much of which is incomplete or simply not collected, makes it too difficult for us to understand what’s really going on.

Now, after three years of development, the team of engineers, scientists and mathematicians behind Ceverst—drawn from universities including Cambridge, Harvard and Oxford—say their tool is ready to accurately track what the climate future could look like for entire countries. It will even be able to track the impact of extreme weather on individual landscapes.

TechCrunch reports that the company has just raised £3.7 million ($4.8 million) to fund the launch of a real-time climate forecasting platform, taking total funding to £4.5 million ($5.8 million).

It adds that Cervest analyses billions of data points from satellite images and feeds them into models built on meteorology, hydrology, agronomy and atmospheric science. Machine learning helps to recognise warning signs for fires, strong winds and floods, or identify changes in soil health and water risks.

“Cervest says the platform could do such things as reveal the optimum location to build a new factory; warn a wheat grower that their crop yield isn’t expected to meet its targets; or be used by insurers to help them set premiums for the next 12 months,” the site reports.

A pilot version of the platform will be available at the start of 2020.

“Our goal is to empower everyone to make informed decisions that improve the long-term resilience of our planet,” Cervest founder and CEO Iggy Bassi told TechCrunch. “Today decision-makers are struggling with climate uncertainty and extreme events and how they are affecting their business operations, assets, investments, or policy choices.”

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