Microsoft Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland have announced the co-funding of a €5 million climate change project.

In collaboration with Maynooth University, the project, called Terrain-AI, will focus on improving our understanding of the impact of human activity on land use and how it relates to climate change. 

The research will initially focus on test sites in Ireland, with the ultimate aim of reducing global carbon levels by sharing the insights and models developed with other countries.

Leveraging the latest multimodal sensing technologies, IOT devices and the Microsoft Azure Cloud, the project will build artificial intelligence (AI) models that can inform more effective and sustainable management practices, leading to significant carbon reduction. 

The project led by Maynooth University will also be conducted in collaboration with Teagasc, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Dublin City University, and University of Limerick.

Data will be captured from satellites, airborne platforms, as well as in-field instruments, from 14 test sites strategically located across Ireland.

The test sites will include all types of land from grasslands, croplands, forestry, wetlands, peatlands, to urban areas.

While the project is capturing data from land types in Ireland, the plan is to share insights and models with other countries to help reduce global carbon outputs.

Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science welcomed the commencement of the research.

"This ambitious innovative research has the potential to significantly improve our knowledge and through that assist us to reduce our carbon emissions.

"I look forward to seeing the outcomes and learnings from the project as they arise and wish all involved every success," Minister Harris said.