Scientists Tap Quantum to Forecast Floods, Cyclones

Quantum computing could address all UN sustainability goals
Berenice Baker

October 12, 2022

A storm lashes a coast
Quantum computers could predict extreme weather events.Getty

Multinational bank Standard Chartered and nonprofit the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) are partnering to develop quantum-inspired machine learning applications for environmental, social and governance applications.

The two organizations have already collaborated on quantum annealing research and produced technical papers ranging from portfolio optimization to scheduling. The new work has a strong focus on sustainability and the team believes that quantum computing technology could positively impact all 17

United Nations sustainable development goals

in the long term.

The team aims to develop machine-learning methodologies to forecast natural disasters, such as floods and cyclones, and explore how current and future quantum computers could do this in a way classical computers currently cannot.

The USRA quantum team will look into the existing classical computing climate models and design hardware-software systems using quantum machines on the cloud to see if they can be improved.

The USRA quantum team will look into the existing classical computing climate models and design hardware-software systems using quantum machines on the cloud to see if they can be improved.

"Similar to other major technological advancements, quantum computing is set to bring widespread benefits as well as disrupt many existing business processes,” said Standard Chartered global head of digital channels and client data analytics Craig Corte.

“This is why it's important for companies to future-proof themselves by adopting this new technology from an early stage. The partnership with USRA gives us access to world-class academic researchers and provides us with a unique opportunity to explore a wide range of models and algorithms with the potential to establish quantum advantage for the real-world use cases."

"USRA is committed to advancing capabilities in environmental data sciences to help mitigate the impact of disasters such as wildfires and floods,” said the director of the USRA’s research institute for advanced computer science, David Bell.

“This partnership brings together an interdisciplinary team of scientists in quantum computing, environmental data sciences and machine learning to examine how emerging technologies can be developed and applied to address computationally demanding problems in environmental, social and governance applications."

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