Destination Earth system in Finland will help climate change adaptation

CSC @CSCfi - CSC - Tieteen tietotekniikan keskus / CSC - IT Center for Science

On June 10, Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager and the Finnish Minister for Employment, Arto Satonen, unveiled the initial Destination Earth (DestinE) system. DestinE is a flagship initiative of the Commission aimed at developing a highly accurate digital twin of the Earth. The deployment of the DestinE system involves utilising Europe’s High-performance computers (EuroHPC), including the LUMI supercomputer in Kajaani, Finland, to simulate the effects of climate change and extreme weather events. This initiative will enhance Europe’s ability to respond to major natural disasters, adapt to climate change, and assess such events’ potential socioeconomic and policy impacts.

DestinE, a collaborative effort launched in 2022 by the European Commission, in partnership with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), is a testament to the power of collective action.

The agreed funding through the Digital Europe programme exceeds €315 million, marking a significant investment in the future of climate change adaptation. The launch signifies the completion of the first phase and the commencement of the second phase, both generously funded with over €150 million each. Additional funding for research and development of further digital twin capability was secured through Horizon Europe, demonstrating a long-term commitment to the project’s success.

DestinE, at the forefront of technological innovation, is leveraging advanced modelling capabilities with the support of EuroHPC computers and Artificial Intelligence. This pioneering initiative is a cornerstone of the European strategy for data, consolidating access to valuable sources of data across Europe. DestinE is currently operational and is set to evolve and expand its operations, developing additional components to further enhance its capabilities. The ambitious goal is for DestinE to complete a full digital replica of the Earth by 2030.

“The launch of the initial Destination Earth (DestinE) is a true game changer in our fight against climate change. DestinE will provide us with a highly accurate twin of the Earth,” Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for Europe Fit for the Digital Age, stated.

“It means that we can observe environmental challenges, which can help us predict future scenarios – like we have never done before. This first phase shows how much we can achieve when Europe puts together its scientific excellence and its massive supercomputing power. Today, the future is literally at our fingertips,” she added.

“The #Destination Earth climate model opens up new cooperation opportunities between universities and companies. The project is a breakthrough in accuracy, local details and interactivity,” stated Minister Satonen at the launch event.

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