| FEATURED RESEARCH
AI for Weather Nowcasting
김창익, 김형준, 최명애, 박범순
The AI for Weather Nowcasting Group is researching for technical ways to deal with extreme climate changes that cause social crises and people’s need for short-term weather forecasts. Based on data collected by the Geostationary Korea Multi-Purpose Satellite-2A, this group proposes a total precipitation image prediction model optimized for the Korean Peninsula. Existing AI-based nowcasting models were trained on data collected from the territory of the United States and the United Kingdom, which have distinct patterns compared to data from the Korean Peninsula. This makes it challenging to apply the learned model to Korean terrain. To this end, they processed and refined the total precipitable water (TPW) images from the Geostationary Korea Multi-Purpose Satellite-2A to introduce a new dataset for training the nowcasting model optimized for the Korea dataset.
Plant-Pollinator Interactions on the Korean Peninsula
Eco-Lab, KAIST | 김상규
A recent study estimates that 75% of the world’s main crops are animal-pollinated, and 87.5% of the 352,000 flowering plants depend partially or wholly on pollinators. More importantly, outcrossing pollination is essential for intraspecific biodiversity in the plant community. Disastrously, however, insect pollinators are disappearing. Several bumblebees and butterflies are at risk of extinction in Europe and the USA. Recently, in South Korea, around 6 billion honey bees have disappeared. The direct causes of this crisis are still unclear, but climate change and harmful materials driven by human activities undoubtedly underlie this crisis. Unless steps are taken soon, we will lose the opportunity to understand why and how plant-pollinator interactions have evolved. The breadth and depth of how floral scents influence on plant-pollinator interactions can be revealed only in the real world, where floral scents have evolved. The best way to study the function of floral scents is to examine plant-pollinator interactions in their native environment by manipulating floral volatiles. The need to exploring plant-pollinator interactions has become urgent, because natural habitats are rapidly being destroyed. We will use Korea’s national arboretums and native habitats as natural laboratories in which we will manipulate floral scents to study their function.
남욱현, 한민, 김소정, 이소요, 김수현, 박범순
Recent strata containing so-called “technofossils”, such as man-made plastics and aluminum, could be recognized as Anthropocene strata. The easiest place to find these materials is by far in landfills, where the entire erosion-transport-deposition process is controlled by humans. Municipal solid waste landfills around the world began to be built in the 1950s, at the beginning of the Anthropocene. Moreover, the importance of the landfill is even greater as it contains the social life of mass production, consumption, and disposal.
The DMZ as a Korean Anthropocene Landscape
최명애, 김수현, 박범순
At the end of the Korean War (1950 – 1953), South and North Koreas decided to retreat their troops from the frontline for two kilometres. This created the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a 4-km wide, and 248-km long ribbon-like territory across the Korean Peninsula. Nearly 70 years have passed, but the war is not over yet to this day. The DMZ remains a lasting legacy of the Cold War. The military confrontation, however, has given the time for the nature to reclaim the space: the DMZ is often seen as an “ecological treasury” where wild animals and plants loom large, making a sharp contrast to the heavily industrialized landscapes in South Korea. Our research team argue that the DMZ and the surrounding areas would make an exciting example of the Anthropocene landscape not just as a prefigure of ‘the world without us’ but also as an illustration of multispecies survival in and after the Anthropocene. We are exploring various ways in which humans, nonhumans, machines, and fire regimes proceed in and through a series of anthropogenic interventions. By specifically focusing on the cranes, farmers, and Artificial intelligence (AI), and pyrodiversity, we examine:
– How the Anthropocene landscape of the DMZ and surroundings have been formulated?
– What the digital technologies can do to better understand wildlife in and around the DMZ?
– How we could ‘notice’ and ‘practise’ hope for humans and nonhumans in the blasted landscape?
Land Politics of Solar Power Plants
Solar power is one of the most rapidly increasing types of renewable energy in Korean society. This research tries to understand recent energy transition toward solar energy as land use transition, rendering various types of land including mountainous areas, rice paddies, and salt farms as “useless land” to be available for solar power plants. What are the methods, standards, and logics are developed to claim particular lands to be useless and legitimated to install solar power plants? Why does such knowledge practice provoke controversies? Furthermore, by critically engaging with the anthropocentric ways of thinking land measurement, this study aims to open the discursive and policy space for non-human beings to be involved in the energy transition discussions.
More than Net-Zero Anthropocene Policy
박선아, 최명애, 박범순
The starting point for analyzing net-zero policy from the Anthropocene perspective is to understand both the role and limitations of policy and government in detail. This project recognizes the problems inherent in domestic net-zero policies and attempts to imagine an alternative ‘net-zero scenario’ in terms of institutions, culture, and participation. Specifically, here deals with actors’ perceptions & culture of climate crisis, process management for energy transition, and legal systems’ path dependence & green transition. As the main approach, we adopt analysis of narrative of various human and non-human actors, and narrative analysis by weaving the lessons into a single storyline.
Scott Knowles, 전치형, 박범순
The Disaster Haggyo is a disaster studies school aimed at accelerating the implementation of cutting-edge disaster research for maximum benefit to communities. The Disaster Haggyo will draw social scientists, engineers, and scientists together for collaborative research. The Disaster Haggyo, therefore, facilities three activities simultaneously: 1) new interdisciplinary disaster research in areas of greatest national need; 2) a new pedagogical model for increasing skill among disaster researchers, skill necessary for technology and policy innovation; 3) development of community-based action for developing safer, disaster-resistant communities. First Disaster Haggyo will be held in August 2022, at KAIST, in Ansan, and in Jeju.
Our team has professor Scott Knowles; phD students Hyeonbin Park, Joëlle Champalet, and Hyunah Keum; master’s students Seulgi Lee and Seungchan Choi.