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Archive for the ‘climatology’ category

Feb 11, 2017

Google Test Of AI’s Killer Instinct Shows We Should Be Very Careful

Posted by in categories: climatology, military, robotics/AI, sustainability

If climate change, nuclear weapons or Donald Trump don’t kill us first, there’s always artificial intelligence just waiting in the wings. It’s been a long time worry that when AI gains a certain level of autonomy it will see no use for humans or even perceive them as a threat. A new study by Google’s DeepMind lab may or may not ease those fears.

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Feb 3, 2017

Quantum RAM: Modelling the big questions with the very small

Posted by in categories: climatology, computing, finance, quantum physics, singularity, sustainability

Nice write up. What is interesting is that most folks still have not fully understood the magnitude of quantum and how as well as why we will see it as the fundamental ingredient to all things and will be key in our efforts around singularity.


When it comes to studying transportation systems, stock markets and the weather, quantum mechanics is probably the last thing to come to mind. However, scientists at Australia’s Griffith University and Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University have just performed a ‘proof of principle’ experiment showing that when it comes to simulating such complex processes in the macroscopic world quantum mechanics can provide an unexpected advantage.

Griffith’s Professor Geoff Pryde, who led the project, says that such processes could be simulated using a “quantum hard drive”, much smaller than the required for conventional simulations.

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Jan 29, 2017

MIT’s Food Computers Set the Stage for Open Source Agriculture

Posted by in categories: climatology, computing, food, sustainability

Most of us probably don’t think too much about the foodstuffs we buy in the supermarket. But behind the scenes, today’s food production system relies on a centralized, industrial-scale supply chain that’s still dependent upon soil-based agriculture for the majority of our food crops.

In many instances, that means that food has to travel long distances from farm to table, meaning that food has lost much of its freshness and nutritional value by the time it reaches your table. There’s also a growing awareness that this model isn’t sustainable: the pressures of increasing urbanization and loss of arable land, rising populations and the increased frequency of extreme weather events like droughts and floods — brought on by climate change — means that slowly but surely, we are going to have to change the way we grow our food.

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Jan 26, 2017

Planets Around Wolf 1061 Key To Understanding ‘Venus’

Posted by in categories: climatology, space

The inner edge of the habitable zone is the dividing line between peaches and cream and all out hell. Venus has likely seen both. The study of exo-solar systems like Wolf 1061 is key to understanding our own Venus.


New observations of the nearby star Wolf 1061, some 14 light years distant in Ophiuchus — already known to harbor three super-earths — should help planetary scientists better understand what went wrong with our own Venus.

Turns out hellishly-hot Venus-like worlds are quite common and early in the history of any given planetary system, such close-in terrestrial mass planets might even sport liquid water. But as their host stars evolve, the perilous inner edge of these extrasolar planetary systems’ habitable zones move decidedly outward.

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Jan 20, 2017

A Swedish Billionaire Will Award $5 Million For Reimagining Global Governance

Posted by in categories: climatology, governance, sustainability

Yes, you read that right. The Global Challenges Foundation, founded by the Swedish billionaire László Szombatfalvy, has launched an international competition in order to find a better system for world governance. As Szombatfalvy writes in a letter published on the Foundation’s website:

The greatest threats we face today transcend national boundaries; they therefore need to be addressed jointly by all countries based on an increased realization of our mutual dependence. […] Our current international system – including but not limited to the United Nations — was set up in another era following the Second World War. It is no longer fit for purpose to deal with 21st century risks that can affect people anywhere in the world. We urgently need fresh new thinking in order to address the scale and gravity of today’s global challenges, which have outgrown the present system’s ability to handle them.

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Jan 14, 2017

Why a New Group Aims to Elect More Scientists to the Government

Posted by in categories: climatology, education, government, mathematics, sustainability

Concerned that scientific views are not being properly represented in Washington, a new nonprofit group wants to get more scientists elected. 314 Action, named after the first three digits of pi, wants scientists to embrace the political process, running for all levels of government. The group’s aim is to get as many scientists elected as possible in the 2018 elections.

314 Action sees particular urgency for its work due to the rise of anti-science rhetoric on the Hill, especially from the right. The current Republican standard bearer President Trump has questioned the idea that climate change is caused by humans and seemingly encouraged debunked anti-vaccination opinions. With the appointments Trump made so far, it’s hard to believe his administration will advance scientific causes.

The 314 Action group describes its members as people who come from the STEM community whose goals are to increase communication between STEM community and elected officials, to actually elect STEM-trained candidates to public office, to increase presence of STEM ideas through the media, and to prevent the U.S. from falling further and further behind the rest of the world in math and science education.

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Jan 7, 2017

‘New York 2140’ Is a Sci-Fi Vision of the World Reshaped

Posted by in categories: climatology, economics, sustainability

If a trip to Venice is your ideal holiday, then you’re going to love the future.

new-york-2140-2

Most of us, however, will be quite sobered by Kim Stanley Robinson’s upcoming novel, New York 2140, a near-future projection of a world reshaped by climate change. Sea level has risen by 50 feet, flooding the Big Apple and countless coastal cities around the planet. Thousands of species have gone extinct.

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Dec 25, 2016

China Wants to Build a $50 Trillion Global Wind & Solar Power Grid by 2050

Posted by in categories: climatology, solar power, sustainability

In Brief The company that is tasked with running China’s power grid just proposed a $50 trillion global electricity network to help us tackle pollution and climate change.

It seems that China likes building big things. Take the Great Wall of China. The country has been constructing bigger (and sometimes better) things than the rest of the world for centuries.

Now, the Chinese are at it again, but this time it’s on a global scale. China wants to build a $50+ trillion power grid. For the entire world. And they want to have it in operation by 2050. Talk about ambitious.

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Dec 21, 2016

Xinhua: China launches carbon-tracking satellite into orbit

Posted by in categories: climatology, education, satellites

Hmmm; there is another use for this type of satellite just can’t openly state.


SHANGHAI—China launched a satellite to monitor its greenhouse gas emissions early on Thursday, the latest step in efforts to cut its carbon footprint, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The launch follows the United States joining China in formally ratifying the Paris agreement to curb climate-warming emissions. It also comes as large sections of northern China have been shrouded in near-record levels of air pollution for most of the past week, disrupting flights, closing factories and schools, and forcing authorities to issue red alerts.

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Dec 21, 2016

How graphene quantum dots can convert carbon dioxide into liquid fuels

Posted by in categories: climatology, quantum physics, sustainability

Researchers used nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dots to convert carbon dioxide into liquid hydrocarbons like ethylene and ethanol for use as fuel.

The wonder material known as graphene may have a new trick up its sleeve: converting carbon dioxide into liquid fuels. A team of researchers at Rich University in Texas used nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dots (NGQDs) as a catalyst in electrochemical reactions that create ethylene and ethanol, and the stability and efficiency of the material is close to common electrocatalysts such as copper.

In the fight to slow climate change, reducing the amount of carbon dioxide that enters the atmosphere is crucial, and plenty of research is looking into how we can capture carbon at the source, using clay, engineered bacteria, metal-organic frameworks, or materials like the “Memzyme” and sequester it into rock and concrete. Other studies are focusing on converting the captured carbon into liquid hydrocarbons, which can be used as fuel.

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