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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Heat waves bring record-breaking temperatures on a geological scale

From Alaska to Europe, the world has spent the past few weeks roasting under temperatures never before seen in recorded history.

In Alaska, all-time-high record temperatures were set across the state on July 4th, according to the National Weather Service. In Anchorage, the mercury soared to highs of 90 degrees, the highest temperature since recording began in 1952.

Temperatures in Alaska have reached 90 degrees in other cities around the state before, but this is the first time the thermometer hit that mark in Anchorage.

Meanwhile, hot winds blowing North from the Sahara set temperatures in Europe soaring to record highs, according to data released by the Copernicus Climate Change Service.

It was Europe’s record three-degree temperature spike that brought global temperatures to their recorded-history highs.

Screen Shot 2019 07 05 at 12.16.41 PM

“Although local temperatures may have been lower or higher than those forecast, our data show that the temperatures over the southwestern region of Europe during the last week of June were unusually high,” said Jean-Noël Thépaut, head of the Copernicus Climate Change Service. “Although this was exceptional, we are likely to see more of these events in the future due to climate change.”

According to data from Copernicus, the temperature spike across Europe was the highest on record for the month.

Compared for the same five-day period during the last 30-year climatological reference period, six to 10 degree Celsius temperature spikes happened in most of France and Germany, throughout northern Spain, northern Italy, Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic.

As these events become common, the need for technologies that can reduce carbon emissions because more pressing.

Increasingly, businesses and investors are returning to the once-shunned market of clean technology and renewable energy to back new electric vehicle manufacturers, new energy efficient construction technologies, the rehabilitation of outdated infrastructure and consumer goods that have a smaller carbon footprint or reduce waste.

Data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance published earlier this year indicated that venture investments into what was once called clean technology hit $9.2 billion in 2018. That’s the highest cumulative investment in the sector since 2009. Much of those deals were in Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers that attracted some $3.3 billion in venture capital and private equity dollars.

That’s critical, because global carbon emissions have increased over the past two years, according to estimates from the Global Carbon Project.

“We thought, perhaps hoped, emissions had peaked a few years ago,â€� said Rob Jackson, a professor of Earth system science in Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences (Stanford Earth). “After two years of renewed growth, that was wishful thinking.”

In the U.S. specifically, climate-related pressures (a warmer summer and a colder winter) led to increasing demand along with an uptick in gasoline consumption as demand for bigger vehicles fueled higher gas consumption.

“We’re driving more miles in bigger cars, changes that are outpacing improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency,� Jackson explained.


Source: TechCrunch

In addition to urban air mobility, why not rural air mobility?

Personal air vehicles — those nifty electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft — have become one of the hottest aviation concepts since the Wright Flyer inspired a flood of competitors.

Touted as quieter, cleaner and cheaper than commercial helicopters, these electric air taxis promise to address city-dwellers’ mobility woes and have captured the attention of major aircraft and aerospace designers worldwide, including Bell Helicopter, Boeing and Airbus.

With hundreds of millions in startup capital flowing to a nascent urban air mobility (UAM) industry, we might pause to ask: Can these new eVTOL aircraft serve rural areas, too? Could they help lift economic prospects for the millions of people living outside of big cities? Should we be thinking beyond UAM to rural air mobility — RAM?

The initial focus of the 100 or more companies working to create eVTOL aircraft and related systems may help solve the pressing urban problems of congestion and gridlock. It’s no surprise that Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are in the thick of this pursuit, as their lives are directly affected by the terrible traffic their mushrooming enterprises help to create.

But there are good reasons to consider applying these technologies to rural America as well, or even first.  Rural residents face a host of logistical issues that have contributed to significant declines in rural population and economic stability in recent decades. If you’re living in a rural area, you’re almost certainly far away from specialized healthcare, let alone a GP. You’re a long way from community colleges and universities; and far from advanced manufacturing jobs, or knowledge-based desk jobs, or even the nearest Costco. Many rural towns are so hard to access, why would anyone want to expand or relocate a business there?

Already, we see the merits of bringing greater connectivity to rural areas, which is why rural broadband is subsidized to the tune of more than $700 million annually by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Rural air mobility could be part of a new infrastructure plan, should DC mandarins ever create one. The FAA’s Essential Air Service program for small communities, or something like it, could be expanded to include vertiports in towns and on farms or at small manufacturing facilities. RAM operators could receive essential air service subsidies, at least as part of test projects.

RAM clearly isn’t a panacea for every economic challenge facing rural America, but it may be part of the solution. Indeed, flying these RAM flying taxis around in wide-open areas and small towns may help refine the technologies required for denser airspace.

One big challenge for urban air vehicles is operating safely over heavily populated areas. They need to pretty reliably not crash. They need complex deconfliction traffic management. They need an infrastructure of lots of landing pads on prime real estate. These challenges, and many others, will need to be addressed before eVTOLs grace urban skylines.

Do these vehicles have the range and payload capacity to fly across vast rural counties and not just across San Francisco Bay? The Lilium Jet air taxi, according to its designers, will be capable of covering 300 km in 60 minutes.

Will we ever get an infrastructure initiative from Washington? Who knows. But if we do, I would advocate for RAM test programs in selected rural areas. And if the government won’t do it, private industry certainly has that capability — and an opportunity to refine valuable technologies in the process.

Remember, the Wright Flyer wasn’t perfected over New York City.


Source: TechCrunch

Scientists thrilled to see rare starfish spotted alive, chowing on coral – CNET

The elusive sthenaster emmae sea star makes an appearance during a NOAA ocean exploration mission.
Source: CNET

We got a world exclusive first look at the Lamborghini SC18 Alston video – Roadshow

The SC18 Alston is a one-off, custom supercar for a very secretive owner made by Lamborghini’s Squadra Corsa department. We were lucky enough to be the only people allowed to film it at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Source: CNET

Amazon shaves $200 off the latest version of the Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Score massive savings on cool tech like Microsoft Surface Pro 6 which is currently discounted by 22% on Amazon. For $700, you get the portability and functionality of both a laptop and a tablet in one dynamic device. 
Source: Digital trends

Walmart offers the latest Apple iPad for $80 off this 4th of July weekend

After Independence Day, another thing worth celebrating is the onslaught of holiday sales. Walmart is offering the Apple iPad 32GB for $249, saving you $80 from its original price of $329.
Source: Digital trends

Score the Samsung Chromebook Pro at a 16% discount on Amazon

The Samsung Chromebook Pro offers great day-to-day performance for work and play. It usually comes at a high price tag, but with Amazon’s deal, you can have it for a lower price of $460. Order yours now while it’s still in stock.
Source: Digital trends

'Cuphead' Update Is Being Delayed for a Very Good Reason

The team behind the game is trying to make sure it’s being made in a manner that’s healthy for its developers.
Source: Wired

Sikorsky's S-97 Raider Helicopter Is a Pirouetting Speedster

The funky, speedy whirly bird is Sikorksy’s bid to win a major new contract from the Army.
Source: Wired

'Spider-Man: Far From Home': 5 Comics That Help Explain the Ending

Still pondering that post-credits scene? Start here.
Source: Wired

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