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Amazon supports climate simulations with cloud computing

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is lending a hand to global climate sustainability efforts.

Amazon is donating Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud capabilities to support simulations of near-term climate change.

The e-tail giant is collaborating with nonprofit SilverLining’s Safe Climate Research Initiative and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to implement a global climate simulation model by using advanced AWS technologies. By using cloud-based technology and hosting the resulting datasets in the AWS Open Data Sponsorship Program, Amazon hopes to open a new avenue to accelerating climate research and democratizing access to tools and information.

Through the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative (ASDI), Amazon is donating AWS cloud resources, technical support, and early access to its next-generation high-performance computing solutions to support simulations of near-term climate conditions. NCAR will run an ensemble of 30 model simulations of the Earth system over the period from 2022-2070—what is considered “near term.” The resulting datasets, including related replications and simulations, will be hosted on AWS with open access to researchers around the world.

The effort includes research teams from Cornell University, Rutgers University, Colorado State University, the University of Washington, the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, the University of Cape Town, the University of Nairobi, the University of the Philippines, and other institutions, through a program administered by the Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative and UNESCO.

These research teams will use the simulation data to study impacts on Earth and human systems—including agriculture, drought, flooding, and human health—in various parts of the world. The studies will be designed advance understanding of near-term climate and climate-intervention responses, break ground on the use of cloud technology and services for this type of research, and accelerate progress on climate change remediation.

Amazon’s sustainability efforts

Amazon has been a major global player in promoting sustainability for the past several years. In May 2021, the company issued a new $1 billion bond focused on funding projects in five key sustainability areas.

The e-tail giant will use proceeds from the bond to build on investments it has made over the years in renewable energy, clean transportation, sustainable buildings, affordable housing, and socioeconomic advancement & empowerment. The bond will enable investors to join Amazon in its social and environmental efforts.

Net Zero Carbon by 2040: The retailer is deploying technology and people to reach net-zero carbon across Amazon by 2040, one decade ahead of the Paris Agreement.

100,000 Electric Delivery Vehicles: Amazon placed an order for 100,000 electric delivery vehicles with Rivian, the largest order ever of electric delivery vehicles. Amazon also partnered to order electric vehicles from Mahindra Electric and Mercedes Benz.
100% Renewable Energy: Amazon has committed to powering its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2030, and is on a path to achieve this five years early, by 2025.
Shipment Zero: Making all Amazon shipments net-zero carbon through 
Shipment Zero, with a goal of delivering 50% of all shipments with net-zero carbon by 2030.
•    Climate Pledge Fund: Amazon is investing $2 billion to support the scalability and development of technologies and services that accelerate and facilitate the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Right Now Climate Fund: Amazon is investing in nature-based solutions, which include conservation, restoration, and improved land management actions that increase carbon storage or avoid greenhouse gas emissions in forests, wetlands, and grasslands across the globe.
Affordable Housing: The retailer is supporting innovative housing affordability initiatives
Advancement and Empowerment: The company is increasing opportunities for underrepresented groups to enter the technology workforce and launching, scaling, and investing in skills training programs.

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