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Archive for the ‘climatology’ category

Jul 7, 2018

What if AI made actors immortal?

Posted by in categories: climatology, life extension, policy, robotics/AI

I’m not that interested in this on the movie end, because i think most movies already suck, and couldnt really get any worse.


AUDREY HEPBURN DIED in 1993, but in 2013 she nevertheless starred in an advertisement for Galaxy, a type of chocolate bar. She was shown riding a bus along the Amalfi coast before catching the eye of a passing hunk in a convertible. In 2016 Peter Cushing, who died in 1994, reprised his role as the villainous Grand Moff Tarkin in the Star Wars film “Rogue One”. Such resurrections are not new, but they are still uncommon enough to count as news. Yet advances in special effects—and, increasingly, in artificial intelligence (AI)—are making it ever easier to manufacture convincing forgeries of human beings.

In recent months this has led to concern that propagandists will use the technology to generate videos in which political figures appear to say compromising things. A video created by BuzzFeed, a news website, in April shows Barack Obama apparently saying “We’re entering an era in which our enemies can make it look like anyone is saying anything at any point in time,” for example. In May a Belgian political party produced a fake video of Donald Trump saying implausible things about Belgium’s climate policy. In both cases the video looks slightly off, and the voice is provided by an impersonator. But the technology is improving fast, prompting a dozen AI researchers to place bets on whether a fake video will disrupt America’s midterm elections later this year. (Tim Hwang, a Harvard academic, is overseeing the wager.)

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Jun 30, 2018

The human physiological impact of global deoxygenation

Posted by in categories: climatology, existential risks, health, sustainability

Article (2017) about oxygen depletion. “There has been a clear decline in the volume of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere over the past 20 years. Although the magnitude of this decrease appears small compared to the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere, it is difficult to predict how this process may evolve, due to the brevity of the collected records. A recently proposed model predicts a non-linear decay, which would result in an increasingly rapid fall-off in atmospheric oxygen concentration, with potentially devastating consequences for human health. We discuss the impact that global deoxygenation, over hundreds of generations, might have on human physiology. Exploring the changes between different native high-altitude populations provides a paradigm of how humans might tolerate worsening hypoxia over time. Using this model of atmospheric change, we predict that humans may continue to survive in an unprotected atmosphere for ~3600 years. Accordingly, without dramatic changes to the way in which we interact with our planet, humans may lose their dominance on Earth during the next few millennia.”


There has been a clear decline in the volume of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere over the past 20 years. Although the magnitude of this decrease appears small compared to the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere, it is difficult to predict how this process may evolve, due to the brevity of the collected records. A recently proposed model predicts a non-linear decay, which would result in an increasingly rapid fall-off in atmospheric oxygen concentration, with potentially devastating consequences for human health. We discuss the impact that global deoxygenation, over hundreds of generations, might have on human physiology. Exploring the changes between different native high-altitude populations provides a paradigm of how humans might tolerate worsening hypoxia over time. Using this model of atmospheric change, we predict that humans may continue to survive in an unprotected atmosphere for ~3600 years. Accordingly, without dramatic changes to the way in which we interact with our planet, humans may lose their dominance on Earth during the next few millennia.

Keywords: Oxygen, Hypoxia, Acclimatization, Physiological adaptation.

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Jun 30, 2018

Biotic replacement and evolutionary innovation as a global catastrophic risk

Posted by in categories: climatology, existential risks, sustainability

Old, but excellent post:


[Image: “Disckonsia Costata” by Verisimilius is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0]

Several times in evolutionary history, the arrival of an innovative new evolutionary strategy has lead to a mass extinction followed by a restructuring of biota and new dominant life forms. This may pose an unlikely but possible global catastrophic risk in the future, in which spontaneous evolutionary strategies (like new biochemical pathways or feeding strategies) become wildly successful, and lead to extreme climate change and die-offs. This is also known as a ‘biotic replacement’ hypothesis of extinction events.

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Jun 28, 2018

Ocasio-Cortez’s climate plan is the only one that matches scientific consensus on the environment

Posted by in categories: climatology, economics, government, sustainability

Ocasio-Cortez’s 100%-renewable plan puts her in agreement with a coalition of US mayors who have committed to the goal of complete decarbonization within their own cities. But Ocasio-Cortez, who has an economics degree, also couples that plank with an economic plan she is calling the Green New Deal.


In a major upset on Tuesday night, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old Latina democratic socialist from the Bronx, beat out the longtime US representative Joe Crowley in the New York primaries. In the overwhelmingly Democratic district, she is practically certain to win a seat in Congress during the general election in November.

Ocasio-Cortez’s climate-change platform would become the most progressive of that of any sitting Congressperson in the Democratic party—and her primary victory catapults that platform into the mainstream.

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Jun 21, 2018

What If All Cars Went Electric

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

Could the electric car save our climate?

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Jun 16, 2018

Chandra Space Telescope: Revealing the Invisible Universe

Posted by in categories: climatology, cosmology

The Chandra X-Ray Observatory is a NASA telescope that looks at black holes, quasars, supernovas, and the like – all sources of high energy in the universe. It shows a side of the cosmos that is invisible to the human eye.

After more than a decade in service, the observatory has helped scientists glimpse the universe in action. It has watched galaxies collide, observed a black hole with cosmic hurricane winds, and glimpsed a supernova turning itself inside out after an explosion.

The telescope – billed as one of NASA’s Great Observatories along with the Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope and the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory – has been a public relations tool for the agency, as well. Its pictures are frequently used by NASA in press releases.

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Jun 6, 2018

NASA is announcing a new discovery from Mars on Thursday — here’s how to watch it live

Posted by in categories: climatology, space

Here’s how to watch the announcement live.


NASA’s Curiosity Rover has found some new and exciting information about Mars, and the space agency is announcing that discovery to the world on Thursday.

The Curiosity Rover launched from Earth in November 2011 and landed on Martian soil on August 6, 2012. It has since been cruising around the red planet’s surface, functioning as a 9-foot-wide roving science machine.

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Jun 4, 2018

Tesla has ‘about 11,000’ energy storage projects underway in Puerto Rico, says Elon Musk

Posted by in categories: climatology, Elon Musk, sustainability

Tesla is apparently significantly ramping up its effort to help rebuild the power grid in Puerto Rico after it was destroyed by hurricanes last year.

After having completed hundreds of energy storage project on the islands in the last few months, Tesla CEO Elon Musk now says that they have ‘about 11,000’ energy storage projects underway in Puerto Rico, which means something big is in the work.

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May 23, 2018

Atomic-scale manufacturing now a reality

Posted by in categories: climatology, particle physics, robotics/AI

Scientists at the University of Alberta have applied a machine learning technique using artificial intelligence to perfect and automate atomic-scale manufacturing, something which has never been done before. The vastly greener, faster, smaller technology enabled by this development greatly reduces impact on the climate while still satisfying the insatiable demands of the information age.

“Most of us thought we’d never be able to automate atomic writing and editing, but stubborn persistence has paid off, and now Research Associate Moe Rashidi has done it,” said Robert Wolkow, professor of physics at the University of Alberta, who along with his Research Associate has just published a paper announcing their findings.

“Until now, we printed with about as efficiently as medieval monks produced books,” explained Wolkow. “For a long while, we have had the equivalent of a pen for writing with atoms, but we had to write manually. So we couldn’t mass produce atom-scale devices, and we couldn’t commercialize anything. Now that has all changed, much like the disruption following the arrival of the printing press for those medieval monks. Machine learning has automated the atom fabrication process, and an atom-scale manufacturing revolution is sure to follow.”

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May 23, 2018

Beams of antimatter spotted blasting towards the ground in hurricanes

Posted by in categories: climatology, particle physics, space

Although Hurricane Patricia was one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, that didn’t stop the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from flying a scientific aircraft right through it. Now, the researchers have reported their findings, including the detection of a beam of antimatter being blasted towards the ground, accompanied by flashes of x-rays and gamma rays.

Scientists discovered terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) in 1994, when orbiting instruments designed to detect deep space gamma ray bursts noticed signals coming from Earth. These were later linked to storms, and after thousands of subsequent observations have come to be seen as normal parts of lightning strikes.

The mechanisms behind these emissions are still shrouded in mystery, but the basic story goes that, first, the strong electric fields in thunderstorms cause electrons to accelerate to almost the speed of light. As these high-energy electrons scatter off other atoms in the air, they accelerate other electrons, quickly creating an avalanche of what are known as “relativistic” electrons.

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