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Archive for the ‘climatology’ category

Oct 26, 2020

Why the sky is no limit for RAF’s space ambitions

Posted by in categories: climatology, finance, military, space

Like its key allies, the UK is increasingly reliant on space-based assets for daily life in ordinary civil society and for the perfornance of its military forces. So, the Royal Air Force’s operating domain now extends from the ground to far beyond the atmosphere.

In a lockdown summer of downbeat aviation news, it is perhaps fitting that a highlight was a model aeroplane in a windtunnel. In turbulent times for aerospace, that aircraft is even named after a storm. But in showing some detail of the external shape of the Tempest future fighter, BAE Systems has also emphasised the UK’s determination to ride out the technological, financial and geopolitical hurricanes which are set to shape the national defence challenges of the next few decades.

Those late August images from BAE’s Warton, Lancashire test facility reveal an external profile designed for stealth at Mach 2, to carry a wide range of payloads and to cope with the internal heat from enough onboard electric power to anticipate exotic technologies like laser directed-energy weapons.

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Oct 26, 2020

First Habitable-Zone, Earth-Sized Exoplanet Discovered With Planet-Hunter TESS

Posted by in categories: climatology, space

TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, was launched in 2018 with the goal of discovering small planets around the Sun’s nearest neighbors, stars bright enough to allow for follow-up characterizations of their planets’ masses and atmospheres. TESS has so far discovered seventeen small planets around eleven nearby stars that are M dwarfs — stars that are smaller than the Sun (less than about 60% of the Sun’s mass) and cooler (surface temperatures less than about 3900 kelvin). In a series of three papers that appeared together this month, astronomers report that one of these planets, TOI-700d, is Earth-sized and also located in its star’s habitable zone; they also discuss its possible climate.

CfA astronomers Joseph Rodriguez, Laura Kreidberg, Karen Collins, Samuel Quinn, Dave Latham, Ryan Cloutier, Jennifer Winters, Jason Eastman, and David Charbonneau were on the teams that studied TOI-700d, one of three small planets orbiting one M dwarf star (its mass is 0.415 solar masses) located one hundred and two light-years from Earth. The TESS data analysis found the tentative sizes of the planets as being approximately Earth-sized, 1.04, 2.65 and 1.14 Earth-radii, respectively, and their orbital periods as 9.98, 16.05, and 37.42 days, respectively.

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Oct 25, 2020

Extreme events in quantum cascade lasers

Posted by in categories: biological, climatology, computing, neuroscience, quantum physics

Extreme events occur in many observable contexts. Nature is a prolific source: rogue water waves surging high above the swell, monsoon rains, wildfire, etc. From climate science to optics, physicists have classified the characteristics of extreme events, extending the notion to their respective domains of expertise. For instance, extreme events can take place in telecommunication data streams. In fiber-optic communications where a vast number of spatio-temporal fluctuations can occur in transoceanic systems, a sudden surge is an extreme event that must be suppressed, as it can potentially alter components associated with the physical layer or disrupt the transmission of private messages.

Recently, extreme events have been observed in quantum cascade lasers, as reported by researchers from Télécom Paris (France) in collaboration with UC Los Angeles (USA) and TU Darmstad (Germany). The giant pulses that characterize these extreme events can contribute the sudden, sharp bursts necessary for communication in neuromorphic systems inspired by the brain’s powerful computational abilities. Based on a quantum cascade laser (QCL) emitting mid-infrared light, the researchers developed a basic optical neuron system operating 10,000× faster than biological neurons. Their report is published in Advanced Photonics.

Oct 22, 2020

How Synthetic Biology Can Help the Environment

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, climatology, sustainability

Artificial and modified organisms could become essential tools to fight climate change, clean up pollution, protect biodiversity, and more.

Oct 19, 2020

Powerful Alaska earthquake triggered tsunami warning

Posted by in category: climatology

A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck off the Alaska Peninsula, triggering a tsunami warning in the region that has since been downgraded to an advisory. CBS Los Angeles has the latest.

Oct 16, 2020

Weather Broadcast AR with Unreal Engine

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, climatology

The Weather Channel broadcasts tornado with Unreal Engine AR.

Oct 13, 2020

F-35 jet’s problematic lightning protection system set to receive fix

Posted by in categories: climatology, military

By the end of 2020, F-35s coming off Lockheed Martin’s production line will be equipped with a modified version of its lightning protection system that will allow the jet to fly in thunderstorms again.

Oct 13, 2020

Research offers path to end world hunger within decade

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

The world’s small-scale farmers now can see a path to solving global hunger over the next decade, with solutions—such as adopting climate-resilient crops through improving extension services—all culled rapidly via artificial intelligence from more than 500,000 scientific research articles.

The results are synthesized in 10 new research papers—authored by 77 scientists, researchers and librarians in 23 countries—as part of Ceres2030: Sustainable Solutions to End Hunger. The project is headquartered at Cornell University, with partners from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

The papers were published concurrently on Oct. 12 in four journals— Nature Plants, Nature Sustainability, Nature Machine Intelligence and Nature Food —and assembled in a comprehensive package online: Sustainable Solutions to End Hunger.

Oct 10, 2020

Drones Can Reforest The Planet Faster Than Humans Can

Posted by in categories: climatology, drones, genetics, habitats, sustainability

But people need to be kept at the centre of it.


There is more than one reason that we need to reforest Planet Earth. Less than a fifth of Earth’s original forests have survived the rise of humans since the last glaciation, and over half of them are in just five countries (see figure below).

The biggest effect from loss of forests is loss of habitat and the resultant loss of biodiversity, even if you don’t care about climate change. We’re burning billions of acres of pristine Indonesian rain forests to plant palm oil trees (Scientific American) just to get a cooking oil with a better shelf life.

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Oct 8, 2020

Grid AI raises $18.6M Series A to help AI researchers and engineers bring their models to production

Posted by in categories: climatology, robotics/AI

Grid AI, a startup founded by the inventor of the popular open-source PyTorch Lightning project, William Falcon, that aims to help machine learning engineers work more efficiently, today announced that it has raised an $18.6 million Series A funding round, which closed earlier this summer. The round was led by Index Ventures, with participation from Bain Capital Ventures and firstminute.

Falcon co-founded the company with Luis Capelo, who was previously the head of machine learning at Glossier. Unsurprisingly, the idea here is to take PyTorch Lightning, which launched about a year ago, and turn that into the core of Grid’s service. The main idea behind Lightning is to decouple the data science from the engineering.

The time argues that a few years ago, when data scientists tried to get started with deep learning, they didn’t always have the right expertise and it was hard for them to get everything right.

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