NASA and IBM Research Unveil Cutting-Edge AI Model for Weather and Climate Forecasting

NASA IBM Research AI model, weather forecasting, climate modeling, Privthi-weather-climate, artificial intelligence, climate science, MERRA-2, Hugging Face, open science, climate predictions

Discover how NASA and IBM Research’s new AI model, Privthi-weather-climate, is revolutionizing weather and climate forecasting with enhanced resolution and predictive capabilities. Learn about its development, applications, and implications for climate science.

In a groundbreaking collaboration, NASA and IBM Research have unveiled a new artificial intelligence model, the Privthi-weather-climate foundational model, designed to enhance a wide range of weather and climate applications. This innovative model leverages AI to significantly improve resolution, enabling better regional and local weather and climate models, which could have far-reaching implications for climate science and predictive meteorology.

NASA IBM Research AI model
NASA IBM Research AI model

Understanding Foundational Models

Foundational models are large-scale, base models trained on extensive, unlabeled datasets. These models can be fine-tuned for a variety of applications, making them incredibly versatile. The Privthi-weather-climate model is trained on a broad set of data from NASA’s Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA-2). By utilizing AI learning abilities, the model applies patterns gleaned from the initial data across a wide range of scenarios, offering robust and adaptable solutions for weather and climate predictions.

Advancing Earth Science

“Advancing NASA’s Earth science for the benefit of humanity means delivering actionable science in ways that are useful to people, organizations, and communities. The rapid changes we’re witnessing on our home planet demand this strategy to meet the urgency of the moment,” stated Karen St. Germain, director of the Earth Science Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “The NASA foundation model will help us produce a tool that people can use: weather, seasonal, and climate projections to help inform decisions on how to prepare, respond, and mitigate.” 

With the Privthi-weather-climate model, researchers can support numerous climate applications beneficial to the scientific community. These applications include detecting and predicting severe weather patterns or natural disasters, creating targeted forecasts based on localized observations, improving spatial resolution on global climate simulations down to regional levels, and enhancing the representation of physical processes in weather and climate models.

Lowering Barriers to Data Accessibility

“These transformative AI models are reshaping data accessibility by significantly lowering the barrier of entry to using NASA’s scientific data,” said Kevin Murphy, NASA’s chief science data officer, Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. “Our open approach to sharing these models invites the global community to explore and harness the capabilities we’ve cultivated, ensuring that NASA’s investment enriches and benefits all.”

Privthi-weather-climate was developed through an open collaboration with IBM Research, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and NASA, including the agency’s Interagency Implementation and Advanced Concepts Team (IMPACT) at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

The model can capture the complex dynamics of atmospheric physics even when information is missing, thanks to its flexible architecture. This ability allows the foundational model to scale to both global and regional areas without compromising resolution.

A Broader Strategy for AI Integration

“This model is part of our overall strategy to develop a family of AI foundation models to support NASA’s science mission goals,” said Rahul Ramachandran, who leads IMPACT at Marshall. “These models will augment our capabilities to draw insights from our vast archives of Earth observations.”

Privthi-weather-climate is part of a larger model family–the Privthi family–which includes models trained on NASA’s Harmonized LandSat and Sentinel-2 data. The latest model serves as an open collaboration in line with NASA’s open science principles to make all data accessible and usable by communities everywhere. It will be released later this year on Hugging Face, a machine learning and data science platform that helps users build, deploy, and train machine learning models.

Towards the Democratization of Science

“The development of the NASA foundation model for weather and climate is an important step towards the democratization of NASA’s science and observation mission,” said Tsendgar Lee, program manager for NASA’s Research and Analysis Weather Focus Area, High-End Computing Program, and Data for Operation and Assessment. “We will continue developing new technology for climate scenario analysis and decision making.”

Along with IMPACT and IBM Research, the development of Privthi-weather-climate featured significant contributions from NASA’s Office of the Chief Science Data Officer, NASA’s Global Modeling and Assimilation Office at Goddard Space Flight Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Colorado State University, and Stanford University.

Implications for the Future

The release of the Privthi-weather-climate model marks a significant milestone in the integration of AI with climate science. By providing enhanced predictive capabilities and improved resolution, this model can help scientists better understand and respond to climate changes. Its ability to adapt to various scenarios and scales makes it a valuable tool for researchers and policymakers alike.

Moreover, the model’s open-access nature aligns with NASA’s commitment to transparency and collaboration. By making the model available on platforms like Hugging Face, NASA ensures that a broader audience can benefit from this technological advancement. This democratization of data and tools not only fosters innovation but also empowers communities around the world to take informed action in the face of climate challenges.

Collaboration and Future Developments

The successful development of the Privthi-weather-climate model highlights the importance of collaboration between different organizations and institutions. By pooling resources and expertise, NASA, IBM Research, and their partners have created a powerful tool that stands to benefit humanity on a global scale.

As climate change continues to pose significant challenges, the development of advanced models like Privthi-weather-climate is crucial. These models not only enhance our understanding of climate dynamics but also provide actionable insights that can guide policy and decision-making processes. The ongoing collaboration between NASA and IBM Research, along with other partners, underscores the commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technology for the greater good.


The collaboration between NASA and IBM Research to develop the Privthi-weather-climate foundational model represents a major advancement in the field of climate science. By harnessing the power of AI, this model offers improved resolution and predictive capabilities, enabling better regional and local weather and climate models. Its open-access nature ensures that a wide range of users can benefit from its capabilities, fostering innovation and informed decision-making.

As we face the pressing challenges of climate change, tools like the Privthi-weather-climate model are indispensable. They not only enhance our understanding of complex climate dynamics but also provide practical solutions for mitigating and adapting to these changes. The ongoing efforts of NASA, IBM Research, and their partners demonstrate a commitment to leveraging technology for the benefit of humanity, paving the way for a more resilient and informed global community.

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