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Department of Computer Science and Technology


EEG News

Repeat GEDI footprints measure the effects of tropical forest disturbances

14 May 2024

The study evaluates the effectiveness of GEDI satellite technology in quantifying changes in forest biomass and structure after disturbances in the Amazon, using GLAD alerts and JRC forest change maps to analyze near-coincident GEDI shot pairs, revealing significant detection of biomass and canopy losses despite challenges like data variance and geolocation errors. To view the article please click here.

Planetary Computing Fellows Michael Dales and Sadiq Jaffer: Putting systems to work to accelerate ecological interventions

18 April 2024

The phrase ‘planetary computing’ conjures all kinds of images, from sending emails while in orbit to using technology to explore the galaxy. But in reality, this discipline is far more grounded, practical — and urgent. It harnesses the power of computer science to tackle the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.

To discover more please click here.

Insights into Electric Vehicle Usage from a Recent Published Paper on Post-Covid Commuting Patterns

01 March 2024

Anaïs-Marie Celestine Berkes, a Gates Scholar and Ph.D. student, recently published a paper with the Springer Nature Group titled "SPAGHETTI: A Synthetic Data Generator for Post-Covid Electric Vehicle Usage.

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a permanent shift in individuals' daily routines and driving behaviours, leading to an increase in remote work. There has also been an independent and parallel rise in the adoption of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, electrical storage systems, and electric vehicles (EVs). With remote work, EVs are spending longer periods at home. This offers a chance to reduce EV charging demands on the grid by directly charging EV batteries with solar energy during daylight. Additionally, if bidirectional charging is supported, EVs can serve as a backup energy source day and night. Such an approach fundamentally alters domestic load profiles and boosts the profitability of residential power systems. However, the lack of publicly available post-Covid EV usage datasets has made it difficult to study the impact of recent commuting patterns shifts on EV charging. This paper, therefore, presents SPAGHETTI (Synthetic Patterns & Activity Generator for Home-Energy & Tomorrow's Transportation Investigation), a tool that can be used for the synthetic generation of realistic EV drive cycles. It takes as input EV user commuting patterns, allowing for personalised modelling of EV usage. It is based on a thorough literature survey on post-Covid work-from-home (WFH) patterns. SPAGHETTI can be used by the scientific community to conduct further research on the large-scale adoption of EVs and their integration into domestic microgrids. As an example of its utility, we study the dependence of EV charge state and EV charging distributions on the degree of working from home and find that there is, indeed, a significant impact of WFH patterns on these critical parameters. 

To view the paper please click here.

Cambridge's AI-deas Challenge Names Climate & Nature Project as Winner

05 February 2024 

Cambridge University's ai@cam mission announces the 'AI for Climate and Nature' project as one of the five winners in its AI-deas challenge. The AI for Climate and Nature project involves key entities like Cambridge Centre for Carbon Credits, Cambridge Zero, the Conservation Initiative, Conservation Evidence, Institute for Computing for Climate Science, Conservation Research Institute, Centre for Landscape Regeneration, and Cambridge Centre for Earth Observation, employs innovative AI to address climate and biodiversity crises.  

Winners receive seed funding and support, marking a significant stride in advancing AI innovation for societal benefit. 

To discover more about the winning projects please visit ai@cam

Inaugural ACM Workshop on Programming for the Planet Sparks Collaboration 

22 January 2024

The 1st ACM Workshop on Programming for the Planet united computer science researchers to bridge the gap between academic programming methods and their application in climate-related domains. Co-located with POPL 2024, the workshop explored the intersection of programming language research and planetary challenges. Keynotes by Drew Purves and Lisa Rennels focused on AI biodiversity and open-source software for climate change research. With tracks covering modelling, energy efficiency, software engineering, and policy, the event showcased the diverse ways programming language research can contribute. Co-organizers Dr. Dominic Orchard and Prof Anil Madhavapeddy aim to distil insights for transformative change in the community. 

To discover more about the workshop please click here. 

 Declaration on an academic response to the climate crisis 

14 December 2023

In light of the pressing planetary crisis marked by climate change, extreme biodiversity loss, and the exceeding of critical planetary boundaries, we, the signatories, recognize the severe consequences, including immense suffering and an existential threat to humanity. As educators, researchers, and academic judges, we acknowledge our unique roles and moral duty to respond. This pledge emerges from our shared commitment to addressing the crisis through education, research orientation, evaluation criteria, and active engagement with professional societies and institutions emphasizing the urgency of climate justice, biodiversity restoration, and sustainable practices in academia. 

New PACT Accounting Method Enhances Carbon Storage Valuation 

30 October 2023 

Researchers at the Universities of Cambridge and Exeter, along with the London School of Economics, have introduced a more reliable method called 'Permanent Additional Carbon Tonne' (PACT) accounting for estimating the benefits of carbon stored through forest conservation. This innovative approach, detailed in the journal Nature Climate Change, employs computer modelling to value the carbon storage potential of natural habitats, enabling investors to compare carbon credit pricing across projects. PACT accounting addresses uncertainties by issuing conservative carbon credits, fostering local forest protection efforts and presenting a promising solution to undervalued concerns in nature-based carbon solutions. 

To discover more about the method please click here. 

 Project Solace: Mitigating Urban Heat Emergencies 

12 October 2023

Initiated on October 12, 2023, by Keshav Srinivasan and a dedicated group of researchers, Project Solace addresses the urgent challenge of extreme urban heatwaves. Fuelled by a combination of heatwaves and the urban heat island effect, cities are facing inevitable spikes in temperatures, reaching unprecedented levels like 45°C for extended periods in places like London. The Solace project aims to provide a rapid and effective response to urban heat emergencies, emphasizing proactive planning to prevent catastrophic consequences, including heat-related illnesses and fatalities. As climate conditions escalate, Solace stands as a critical initiative for safeguarding communities from the escalating threats of extreme heat. 

To discover more about the initiative please click here. 

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