From Copernicus big data, new solutions to face the changing climate

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To take full advantage of the amount of data released by the EU Copernicus platform, innovative ideas are needed. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are a great resource for climate change risk assessment and adaptation planning. From the participation of CMCC@Ca’Foscari in Vicenza’s Copernicus Hackathon, new collaboration opportunities arise and offer innovative strategies and solutions to face the impacts of climate change.

On February 15-16, 2020, at Vicenza’s Copernicus Hackathon, 11 teams made of students and researchers from many Italian Universities worked for 36 hours non-stop to develop innovative solutions for using the satellite data released by the Copernicus platform, the EU’s Earth Observation Programme looking at our planet and its environment for the ultimate benefit of all European citizens.

A multidisciplinary team composed by participants from the CMCC Foundation and the Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, ranked fourth with the project SEA-NET: Smart Environmental Assessment. Green Intelligence for Nature Based Solutions.

Elisa Furlan, Federica Zennaro and Christian Simeoni of CMCC@Ca’Foscari, researchers at the RAAS Division (Risk Assessment and Adaptation Strategies) of the CMCC Foundation, in December had supported with their expertise the Hackathon Training organized at Ca’Foscari, aimed at preparing participants for the Copernicus event. On that occasion, CMCC researchers had illustrated the potential of machine learning for climate change risk assessment and adaptation planning. A few months later, they joined one of the groups participating in the Hackathon, where they teamed with Francesco Pelosin, Alessando Torcinovich, Sebastiano Smaniotto, Sebastiano Vascon and Gregory Sech (Informatics) and Omar Rampado (freelance software developer).

Copernicus Hackathons are team contests to develop new applications based on Copernicus Earth observation data and services. In these events, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence are used to propose solutions to today’s main challenges. SEA-NET, which builds on the idea behind a recently funded Horizon 2020 project that involves the CMCC Foundation, identifies coastal and marine ecosystems requiring tailored measures to adapt to climate change and selects the most suitable Nature-Based Solutions (including the transplantation of seagrasses meadows) using Copernicus satellite data (Sentinel) and capitalizing additional data from other European projects.


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