news highlights

Basic Sciences and Climate

International Year event on 23 June highlights climate extremes detected by AI

Basic Sciences and Climate
Basic Sciences and Climate


ICTP is pleased to announce the second panel discussion in its series of lectures supporting the 2022 United Nations' International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development (IYBSSD).

Titled "Artificial Intelligence for Detection and Attribution of Climate Extremes", the event will take place on Thursday 23 June starting at 17:00 in the Budinich Lecture Hall, featuring talks by Dim Coumou, a professor of climate extremes and societal risk at Vrije Universiteit, Netherlands, and Robert Vautard, a meteorologist and climatologist at the Institute Pierre-Simon Laplace, France.

Climate extremes are the source of most of the climate-related risks that can affect society and the ecosystem. Machine Learning techniques could help the more traditional dynamical and statistical methods to detect them, attribute the extremes to global warming and to have a more accurate future projection. The ability to correctly communicate how global warming is connected with changes in extremes and the role of Machine Learning in this is of crucial importance for the society for developing and planning mitigation and adaptation capacity.

The talks are open to all and will be moderated by ICTP climate scientist Erika Coppola and Davide Faranda (IPSL). More details are available here. Participants can also join the event via Zoom by pre-registering at or by viewing the livestream on ICTP's YouTube channel.

The UN IYBSSD puts a focus on the important--but largely underappreciated--role that basic sciences plays in nearly every aspect of our lives. It underscores the notion that basic science is crucial to the attainment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in its Agenda 2030 plan.

As a founding partner of the International Year, ICTP is planning activities in support of the IYBSSD themes. The Centre launched a colloquia series on 18 May with an event titled "The Importance of Basic Sciences in Addressing the Global Energy Crisis" (watch the recording here);  other talks to take place throughout the year will address issues including climate change, human ecology, ethics in machine learning, and Open Science.

The International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development will be officially inaugurated on 8 July 2022 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. Events and activities will be organised around the world until 30 June 2023.