EU unveils ‘virtual earth’ to advance climate research

18 Jun 2024 | News

Destination Earth opens the way to more precise simulations and has been described as a gamechanger in the fight against climate change

Visit of Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, to Finland to participate in the launch event of the Destination Earth (DestinE) system on June 10, 2024. Photo credits: Alessandro Rampazzo / European Union

The EU has activated a digital model of the planet which it says will allow scientists, policymakers and companies to simulate the impact of climate change adaptation measures with unprecedented accuracy.

Powered by artificial intelligence and EuroHPC supercomputers, Destination Earth draws on vast amounts of data, including images from Copernicus, the EU’s earth observation programme. It will enable global climate simulations at much higher resolutions than current systems.

The initial system includes two digital twins, one focusing on extreme weather-induced events and another on long-term climate adaptation scenarios. More will be added in the coming years covering topics such as oceans and migration, with the aim of achieving a full-scale replica of the earth by 2030.