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A Planetary Computer for Earth

A Planetary Computer
for a Sustainable Future

A Planetary Computer for a Sustainable Future through the Power of AI

Building a global environmental network.

Microsoft AI for Earth combines user-friendly software tools with cloud-based artificial intelligence to empower organizations and individuals working to advance sustainability around the globe. Together, we’re solving some of today’s toughest environmental challenges while building a solid foundation for a dynamic, globally comprehensive planetary computer.

Democratizing AI to understand species and protect biodiversity.

  • What's Needed

    A data-informed approach for preventing the accelerating loss of biodiversity.

  • Why it's Difficult

    A lack of relevant, easily accessible information for researchers and key decision makers.

  • How AI is Helping

    By facilitating the collection and processing of massive amounts of essential environmental data.

Think of the possibilities…

  1. A platform that transforms nature lovers into citizen scientists who collect species imagery that can be identified with AI and used for scientific research.
  2. Predicting population fluctuations, migration patterns, climate change, and other factors that impact the well-being of wildlife populations and their habitats.
  3. Using the latest breakthroughs in autonomous systems to identify local flora and fauna in the most remote, hard-to-reach places on Earth.
  4. Protecting ocean biodiversity by monitoring vessel movements to prevent the unregulated, illegal harvesting of fish and other marine life.

What if we can more effectively monitor and understand species with technology?

Click on an image. See some of many things AI can share.

SpeciesBottlenose Dolphin • Tursiops truncatus

PopulationAbundant, Stable

Did you know…Track their prey using echolocation.

Common bottlenose dolphin 84.93
Short-beaked common dolphin 7.51
Ocean sunfish 1.71
Harbor porpoise 1.21
Orca 0.69

SpeciesSnowshoe Hare • Lepus americanus

PopulationAbundant, Stable

Did you know…White winter fur changes to brown in summer.

Snowshoe hare 67.17
Mountain goat 7.37
Abert's squirrel 3.74
European rabbit 3.19
Domestic goat 3.15

SpeciesOlive Ridley Sea Turtle • Lepidochelys olivacea

PopulationEndangered, In rapid decline

Did you know…Gender determined in embryo by temperature of the sand where egg incubates.

Olive ridley 87.83
Loggerhead sea turtle 7.55
Green sea turtle 1.19
Agassiz’s desert tortoise 0.9
Gopher tortoise 0.47

SpeciesAfrican Bush Elephant • Loxodonta africana

PopulationVulnerable, Not Endangered

Did you know…An elephant trunk contains about 100,000 different muscles.

African bush elephant 91.4
Asiatic elephant 5.18
White rhinoceros 2.69
African buffalo 0.29
Common warthog 0.15

SpeciesSmall Heath Butterfly • Coenonympha pamphilus

PopulationAbundant, Stable

Did you know…Will only fly in sunny conditions.

Small heath 74.76
Common ringlet 24.86
Black swallowtail 0.04
Anise swallowtail 0.04
Old world swallowtail 0.03

SpeciesHarbor Seal • Phoca vitulina

PopulationStable, Not at Risk

Did you know…Water pressure shifts on its whiskers help it navigate and hunt.

Harbor seal 22.49
California sea lion 19.76
Steller sea lion 17.03
Gray seal 12.92
New zealand sea lion 11.83

SpeciesGreen Iguana • Iguana iguana

PopulationStable, Not at Risk

Did you know…Can detach tail to escape then regrow it with no permanent damage.

Green iguana 65.55
Mountain horned lizard 4.36
Common chuckwalla 4.11
Black spiny-tailed iguana 4.09
Greater short-horned lizard 3.82

SpeciesMilitary Macaw • Ara militaris

PopulationVulnerable, Declining

Did you know…Monogamous. They typically mate for life.

Military macaw 54.71
Scarlet macaw 36.76
Red-lored parrot 11
Eastern rosella 0.99
Rainbow lorikeet 0.74

SpeciesKoala • Phascolarctos cinereus

PopulationVulnerable, Declining

Did you know…Koalas aren’t bears; they’re actually marsupials.

Koala 46.24
Western gray squirrel 12.78
Common brushtail possum 7.96
Vervet monkey 6.14
Crab-eating macaque 4.34

Mapping the impact of climate change on our forests.

  • What's Needed

    The ability to forecast, plan, and manage the healthy woodlands that are vital to our future.

  • Why it's Difficult

    The global magnitude, diverse issues, and shifting conditions that impact forest vitality.

  • How AI is Helping

    By developing a cost-effective means for calculating and monitoring the health and composition of existing forests.

What if you could diagnose the current health and wildfire risk for any forest in the world?

Click on an image. See what AI can detect in a forest.

Mid-Atlantic, N.A.35°33'46"N 83°29'55"W
Status Mature, Thriving

Avg Tree Height 68ft

Avg Rainfall 5"/month

Oak 60
Maple 18
Birch 10
Hickory 8
Spruce 4
Western Rockies, N.A.36°34'43"N 118°17'31"W
Status Robust, Harvestable

Avg Tree Height 153ft

Avg Rainfall 16"/month

Sitka Spruce 40
Douglas Fir 30
Western Red Cedar 12
Mountain Hemlock 10
Noble Fir 8
Pacific Northwest, N.A.47°48'35.9"N 123°4'0.2"W
Status Prime for Reforestation

Avg Tree Height 133ft

Avg Rainfall 4"/month

Ponderosa Pine 25
Sugar Pine 24
Douglas Fir 25
White Fir 18
Mountain Hemlock8

Think of the possibilities…

  1. High-resolution land cover maps that determine the ecological, social, and economic health of local forests and provide informed guidance for improvement.
  2. Using machine learning to predict the impact of climate change, wildfires, tornadoes, and other relevant risks.
  3. Synchronizing and interpreting data around dynamic air quality and other atmospheric phenomena to better address its overall impact on forest health.
  4. AI algorithms that accurately model the mix of tree species and sizes to help improve forest management and facilitate more sustainable and responsible timber harvests.

Enabling precision agriculture.

  • What's Needed

    Workable, data-endorsed solutions for nutritiously and sustainably feeding a growing population.

  • Why it's Difficult

    The volume of data and analysis required to determine how to maximize crop yields for every local farming plot.

  • How AI is Helping

    Through user-friendly tools that empower farmers to analyze and fine-tune the potential yield of every acre.

Think of the possibilities…

  1. Precise, locally relevant solutions for lowering costs, increasing efficiencies, and improving crop yields.
  2. Predicting pest infestations, surplus rainfall, drought conditions, and other atmospheric trends; prescribing viable, data-informed remedies in advance.
  3. Monitoring plant health through cost-effective devices connected to the Cloud.
  4. Quantifying pollinator food resources to ensure long-term harvests.

What if we knew exactly how to grow the most food per acre?

Select an environment and quadrant. See how AI assists farming efforts.

Considerations 58% farmable. 42% residential development.

Crop Recommendations Buckwheat. Clover. Cereal rye.

Composition

  • Sand
  • Silt
  • Clay
  • Organic Matter

Macronutrient Levels

Nitrogen 1.9
Phosphorous 0.2
Potassium 1.3
Calcium 0.2
Magnesium 0.2
Sulfur 0.1

Considerations 23% farmable. 77% residential development.

Crop Recommendations Comfrey. Cardoon. Bush Indigo.

Composition

  • Sand
  • Silt
  • Clay
  • Organic Matter

Macronutrient Levels

Nitrogen 1.6
Phosphorous 0.2
Potassium 1.5
Calcium 0.2
Magnesium 0.1
Sulfur 0.1

Considerations 47% farmable. 53% residential development.

Crop Recommendations Barley. Field peas. Winter rye.

Composition

  • Sand
  • Silt
  • Clay
  • Organic Matter

Macronutrient Levels

Nitrogen 1.6
Phosphorous 0.5
Potassium 1.7
Calcium 0.3
Magnesium 0.2
Sulfur 0.1

Considerations 8% farmable. 92% residential development.

Crop Recommendations Community crowdfarming: Green beans. Zucchini. Tomatoes.

Composition

  • Sand
  • Silt
  • Clay
  • Organic Matter

Macronutrient Levels

Nitrogen 1.3
Phosphorous 0.3
Potassium 1.6
Calcium 0.3
Magnesium 0.2
Sulfur 0.1

Considerations High population density. Minimal farmland.

Crop Recommendations Melons. Sweet peppers. Cherry tomatoes.

Composition

  • Sand
  • Silt
  • Clay
  • Organic Matter

Macronutrient Levels

Nitrogen 3.6
Phosphorous 0.7
Potassium 1.7
Calcium 0.4
Magnesium 0.2
Sulfur 0.1

Considerations Oceanfront.

Crop Recommendations Carrots. Parsnips. Strawberries.

Composition

  • Sand
  • Silt
  • Clay
  • Organic Matter

Macronutrient Levels

Nitrogen 1.3
Phosphorous 0.5
Potassium 1.5
Calcium 0.9
Magnesium 0.2
Sulfur 0.1

Considerations Oceanfront.

Crop Recommendations Strawberries. Spinach. Sustainable aquaculture.

Composition

  • Sand
  • Silt
  • Clay
  • Organic Matter

Macronutrient Levels

Nitrogen 1.3
Phosphorous 0.5
Potassium 0.9
Calcium 0.3
Magnesium 0.2
Sulfur 0.1

Considerations Coastal plain. Minimal residential development.

Crop Recommendations Squash. Eggplant. Leafy Vegetables.

Composition

  • Sand
  • Silt
  • Clay
  • Organic Matter

Macronutrient Levels

Nitrogen 3.6
Phosphorous 0.7
Potassium 1.5
Calcium 0.3
Magnesium 0.2
Sulfur 0.1

Considerations 63% cultivated. Low population density.

Crop Recommendations Corn, Flax, Soybean.

Composition

  • Sand
  • Silt
  • Clay
  • Organic Matter

Macronutrient Levels

Nitrogen 3.8
Phosphorous 0.5
Potassium 1.9
Calcium 0.3
Magnesium 0.2
Sulfur 0.1

Considerations 67% cultivated. 33% in rotation.

Crop Recommendations Corn, Flax, Soybean.

Composition

  • Sand
  • Silt
  • Clay
  • Organic Matter

Macronutrient Levels

Nitrogen 3.9
Phosphorous 0.6
Potassium 1.7
Calcium 0.3
Magnesium 0.2
Sulfur 0.1

Considerations 78% cultivated. High access acreage.

Crop Recommendations Wheat, Alfalfa, Soybean

Composition

  • Sand
  • Silt
  • Clay
  • Organic Matter

Macronutrient Levels

Nitrogen 3.9
Phosphorous 0.5
Potassium 1.9
Calcium 0.4
Magnesium 0.2
Sulfur 0.1

Considerations 65% cultivated. Active irrigation.

Crop Recommendations Corn, Flax, Soybean.

Composition

  • Sand
  • Silt
  • Clay
  • Organic Matter

Macronutrient Levels

Nitrogen 3.9
Phosphorous 0.5
Potassium 1.9
Calcium 0.4
Magnesium 0.2
Sulfur 0.1

Considerations Hillside terrain. 23% plantable.

Crop Recommendations Poplar. Aspen. White Pine.

Composition

  • Sand
  • Silt
  • Clay
  • Organic Matter

Macronutrient Levels

Nitrogen 5.5
Phosphorous 0.7
Potassium 2.5
Calcium 1.8
Magnesium 1.5
Sulfur 0.4

Considerations Sloping terrain. 38% plantable.

Crop Recommendations Sugar Maple. White Oak. Douglas Fir.

Composition

  • Sand
  • Silt
  • Clay
  • Organic Matter

Macronutrient Levels

Nitrogen 5.4
Phosphorous 0.7
Potassium 2.5
Calcium 1.8
Magnesium 0.5
Sulfur 0.4

Considerations Hillside terrain. 43% plantable.

Crop Recommendations Ponderosa Pine. Basswood. Alder.

Composition

  • Sand
  • Silt
  • Clay
  • Organic Matter

Macronutrient Levels

Nitrogen 5.4
Phosphorous 0.7
Potassium 2.4
Calcium 1.7
Magnesium 1.6
Sulfur 0.4

Considerations Antediluvian basin. 23% plantable.

Crop Recommendations Sitka Spruce. Hemlock. Poplar.

Composition

  • Sand
  • Silt
  • Clay
  • Organic Matter

Macronutrient Levels

Nitrogen 5.4
Phosphorous 0.7
Potassium 2.4
Calcium 1.7
Magnesium 1.6
Sulfur 0.4

Developing a sustainable global reservoir of clean water.

  • What's Needed

    A replenishable, global supply of safe, accessible water.

  • Why it's Difficult

    A population that’s growing faster than the current supply will support.

  • How AI is Helping

    Through cloud-based tools that analyze water quality and predict future climate conditions.

Think of the possibilities…

  1. More effective irrigation planning based on environmental conditions and available resources.
  2. Forecasting future water quality and prescribing data-informed solutions in advance.
  3. Mapping water pollution and marine debris; predicting their evolving effect on our global water supply.
  4. Monitoring glacial melt to predict future water level impact; assessing urban risk and loss from sea level encroachment and coastal flooding.
  5. Evaluating the harmful impact of algal blooms in our aquatic ecosystems.
The Enduring Promise of
Planetary Computing

The future finds us more committed than ever to empower those organizations and individuals on the frontlines of the environmental issues that affect us all.

Our goals are simple: to partner with innovators around the world by providing the technology, tools, and training that enable them to better manage Earth’s natural resources. And to work with them, hand in hand, to discover new and better ways to protect our planet.

We hope this journey will engage everyone, everywhere, so that together we can make a difference.

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