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Archive for the ‘climatology’ category

Jan 31, 2023

Instagram’s co-founders introduce a new social app…for news reading

Posted by in categories: climatology, robotics/AI

Can lightning strike twice? That’s apparently the question being raised today with the public introduction of the next social app built by Instagram’s co-founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. The duo have launched a new venture to explore social apps, according to a report published in The Verge, which includes the debut product Artifact, a personalized news reader.

The app itself is not yet publicly available but offers a waitlist where interested users can sign up. As described, it sounds like a modern-day twist on Google Reader, a long-ago RSS newsreader app that Google shut down back in 2013. Except in this case, Artifact is described as a newsreader that uses machine learning to personalize the experience for the end user, while also adding social elements that allow users to discuss articles they come across with friends. (To be fair, Google Reader had a similar feature, but the app itself had to be programmed by the user who would add RSS feeds directly.)

Artifact will first present a curated selection of news stories, The Verge’s article notes, but these will become more attuned to the user’s interests over time. Some of the articles will come from big-name publishers, like The New York Times, while others may be from smaller sites. Other key features will include comment controls, separate feeds for articles posted by people you follow alongside their commentary and a direct message inbox for discussing posts more privately.

Continue reading “Instagram’s co-founders introduce a new social app…for news reading” »

Jan 27, 2023

European farms mix things up to guard against food-supply shocks

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, climatology, economics, sustainability

Greater diversification could help agriculture withstand climate, economic and geopolitical crises.

“Items in this section have limited availability due to supplier production issues,” “Sorry, temporarily out of stock” and “Sold out” are all signs that became familiar as recent global upheavals exposed how precarious our food supply is.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to bare shelves in supermarkets as shipping routes were cut off. The war in Ukraine has affected the supply of essential grains.

Jan 26, 2023

How Quantum Computing Will Transform Our World

Posted by in categories: climatology, economics, encryption, finance, government, internet, mathematics, military, quantum physics, space, supercomputing, sustainability

Tech giants from Google to Amazon and Alibaba —not to mention nation-states vying for technological supremacy—are racing to dominate this space. The global quantum-computing industry is projected to grow from $412 million in 2020 to $8.6 billion in 2027, according to an International Data Corp. analysis.

Whereas traditional computers rely on binary “bits”—switches either on or off, denoted as 1s and 0s—to process information, the “qubits” that underpin quantum computing are tiny subatomic particles that can exist in some percentage of both states simultaneously, rather like a coin spinning in midair. This leap from dual to multivariate processing exponentially boosts computing power. Complex problems that currently take the most powerful supercomputer several years could potentially be solved in seconds. Future quantum computers could open hitherto unfathomable frontiers in mathematics and science, helping to solve existential challenges like climate change and food security. A flurry of recent breakthroughs and government investment means we now sit on the cusp of a quantum revolution. “I believe we will do more in the next five years in quantum innovation than we did in the last 30,” says Gambetta.

But any disrupter comes with risks, and quantum has become a national-security migraine. Its problem-solving capacity will soon render all existing cryptography obsolete, jeopardizing communications, financial transactions, and even military defenses. “People describe quantum as a new space race,” says Dan O’Shea, operations manager for Inside Quantum Technology, an industry publication. In October, U.S. President Joe Biden toured IBM’s quantum data center in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., calling quantum “vital to our economy and equally important to our national security.” In this new era of great-power competition, China and the U.S. are particularly hell-bent on conquering the technology lest they lose vital ground. “This technology is going to be the next industrial revolution,” says Tony Uttley, president and COO for Quantinuum, a Colorado-based firm that offers commercial quantum applications. “It’s like the beginning of the internet, or the beginning of classical computing.”

Jan 25, 2023

Self-cooling tent runs using just water and sunshine

Posted by in categories: climatology, engineering, sustainability

For many avid outdoorspeople, summertime and camping go hand in hand. But as climate change continues to drive summer temperatures higher, outdoor recreation could become less relaxing—and cooling technologies like fans and portable air conditioners require electricity that is seldom available at the average campsite.

Seeing an unmet need, UConn researcher Al Kasani, working with Technology Commercialization Services (TCS) and the university’s Center for Clean Energy Engineering (C2E2), has developed a new off-grid technology that allows a ’s internal to cool up to 20°F below the ambient temperature.

The tent requires just one external element to function, one that is typically found in abundance around campsites: water. A single gallon of water can power the tent’s technology for up to 24 hours.

Jan 24, 2023

I tried lab-grown meat made from animals without killing them — is this the future of ethical eating?

Posted by in categories: climatology, futurism

Instead a clump of her cells were grown in a lab to create what’s known as “cultivated meat”, a product touted as far better for the climate – as well as the mortal concerns of pigs and cows – and is set for takeoff in the US.

“A harmless sample from one pig can produce many millions of tons of product without requiring us to raise and slaughter an animal each time,” said Eitan Fischer, founder of Mission Barns, a maker of cultivated meat that invited the Guardian to a taste test in an upscale Manhattan hotel. The meatball was succulent, the bacon was crisp and, even to a vegetarian, both had the undeniable quality of meat.

“We got that sample from Dawn and she’s living freely and happily,” said Fischer, whose company has identified a “donor” cow, chicken and duck for future cultivated meat ranges. “This industry will absolutely be transformative to our food system as people move toward consuming these types of products.”

Jan 23, 2023

Sound of the Hunga Tonga Volcanic Eruption

Posted by in categories: climatology, space

Escucha Sound of the Hunga Tonga Volcanic Eruption de European Space Agency en #SoundCloud


Sound of the Hunga Tonga Volcanic Eruption One year ago, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted, causing widespread destruction to the Pacific Island Nation of Tonga. It spewed volcanic material up to 58 km into the atmosphere, brought a nearly 15 m tsunami that crashed ashore, destroying villages, and created a sonic boom that rippled around the world – twice. Even one year on, interest in the extraordinary explosive eruption remains. A sound artist has recently recreated the sonification of the underwater volcanic eruption using rayleigh signal intensity data provided by the Aeolus Virtual Research Environment platform. Using wind data obtained on one of its overpasses over the ash cloud of the Hunga Tonga explosion, Jamie Perera used an audio sample of one of the shock waves, time-stretched it into a ghostly tone, and assigned it to harmonic values transcribed from 90 Aeolus readings taken over a duration of approximately 15 minutes. The listener hears one reading every two seconds, in a harmonic range that spans six piano octaves, the highest of which can be heard at around 01:18 minutes when the readings show the eruption’s dust plume at its highest peak (over 20.5 km). The artistic intention behind the sonification was to evoke the otherworldly landscape of Hunga Tonga and other volcanoes. Sonification credit/copyright: @jamieperera (2023). Used by permission. Data and guidance provided by Daniel Santillan. Thanks to Peter Bickerton and Jemma Foster. Originally created as part of Wild Alchemy Journal — Air Edition — Aeolus.

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Jan 23, 2023

Light Shaped as a Smoke Ring Behaves Like a Particle

Posted by in categories: climatology, mathematics, nanotechnology, particle physics

Researchers report a new, highly unusual, structured-light family of 3D topological solitons, the photonic hopfions, where the topological textures and topological numbers can be freely and independently tuned.

We can frequently find in our daily lives a localized wave structure that maintains its shape upon propagation—picture a smoke ring flying in the air. Similar stable structures have been studied in various research fields and can be found in magnets, nuclear systems, and particle physics. In contrast to a ring of smoke, they can be made resilient to perturbations. This is known in mathematics and physics as topological protection.

A typical example is the nanoscale hurricane-like texture of a magnetic field in magnetic thin films, behaving as particles—that is, not changing their shape—called skyrmions. Similar doughnut-shaped (or toroidal) patterns in 3D space, visualizing complex spatial distributions of various properties of a wave, are called hopfions. Achieving such structures with light waves is very elusive.

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Jan 20, 2023

Photonic hopfions: Light shaped as a smoke ring that behaves like a particle

Posted by in categories: climatology, mathematics, nanotechnology, particle physics, quantum physics

We can frequently find in our daily lives a localized wave structure that maintains its shape upon propagation—picture a smoke ring flying in the air. Similar stable structures have been studied in various research fields and can be found in magnets, nuclear systems, and particle physics. In contrast to a ring of smoke, they can be made resilient to perturbations. This is known in mathematics and physics as topological protection.

A typical example is the nanoscale hurricane-like texture of a magnetic field in magnetic thin films, behaving as particles—that is, not changing their shape—called skyrmions. Similar doughnut-shaped (or toroidal) patterns in 3D space, visualizing complex spatial distributions of various properties of a wave, are called hopfions. Achieving such structures with is very elusive.

Recent studies of structured light revealed strong spatial variations of polarization, phase, and amplitude, which enable the understanding of—and open up opportunities for designing—topologically stable optical structures behaving like particles. Such quasiparticles of light with control of diversified topological properties may have great potential, for example as next-generation information carriers for ultra-large-capacity optical information transfer, as well as in quantum technologies.

Jan 20, 2023

Powerful laser blast used to control lightning for the first time

Posted by in categories: climatology, particle physics

“Although this research field has been very active for more than 20 years, this is the first field-result that experimentally demonstrates lightning guided by lasers,” the researchers wrote in the study. “This work paves the way for new atmospheric applications of ultrashort lasers and represents an important step forward in the development of a laser based lightning protection for airports, launchpads or large infrastructures.”

Lightning emerges when atmospheric static electricity, generated by the friction of ice clumps and rain in stormclouds, separates electrons from atoms. The negatively charged electrons then pool at the stormcloud’s base and attract positive charges from the ground. As electrons steadily accumulate, they begin to overcome the resistance of the air to their flow, ionizing the atmosphere below them as they approach the ground in multiple forking (and invisible) “leader” paths. When the first leader path makes contact with the ground, electrons hop to the earth from the point of contact, discharging from the bottom up in a flash of lightning (called the return stroke) that travels to the top of the cloud.

Jan 17, 2023

Lasers as lightning rods just became a reality thanks to a new study

Posted by in category: climatology

The study has shown that the use of intense lasers can be used to divert lightning, much like conventional “Franklin rods.”

According to a report published in Nature Photonics.

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