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Category: environment

Robotics | IoT

Will These Massive Geoengineering Projects Fix the Earth—Or Break It?

From planting continent-long forests to inducing rainfall, researchers have begun proposing, testing, and in some cases implementing large-scale geoengineering projects to radically transform the planet. These projects are designed to solve problems such as desertification, drought, or excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, all with the ultimate goal of combating climate change. A recent report […]

These Smart Seafaring Robots Have a Whole New Set of Skills

Drones. Self-driving cars. Flying robo taxis. If the headlines of the last few years are to be believed, terrestrial transportation in the future will someday be filled with robotic conveyances and contraptions that will require little input from a human other than to download an app. But what about the other 70 percent of the […]

Will Electric Planes Ever Happen? Here’s an Update on Their Status

In 2015, airlines burned through 276 million tons of jet fuel. That’s roughly 7 percent of global oil products, and leads to direct emissions that make up 2.7 percent of global energy-related CO2 emissions. Worse yet, direct CO2 emissions are estimated to account for only half the sector’s total global warming impact, with other greenhouse […]

Saving the Seas: New Technologies to Protect the Ocean

The ocean covers more than 70 percent of our planet’s surface. The Pacific alone is more than 60 million square miles. And yet, technologists are often focused on their home turf, populating roads with Ubers, equipping cities with wireless access points, and covering the land with cellular base stations. Thus far, the 321,003,271 cubic miles […]

Whale-Watching from Space? The Project Using Satellites to Monitor Wildlife

A new study of whales shows that advances in satellite imagery and related technologies mean we can now recognize specific features of animals all the way from space. It is the latest in a growing number of projects to give us new, detailed knowledge of the state of Earth’s wildlife and thereby our planet’s condition. […]

Y Combinator’s Search For a Climate Change Unicorn

Silicon Valley’s premier tech incubator, Y Combinator, has decided to take on climate change. They’ve put out a call for proposals for technology that can suck CO2 from the air in the hope of reversing our seemingly inexorable march towards a catastrophic 2°C increase in global temperatures. An incubator that became famous for spawning internet-based unicorns like […]

The 7 Wild Energy Technologies That Just Got A Billion-Dollar Boost

It’s touch and go whether current efforts to curb carbon emissions will avert catastrophic climate change. That’s why a group of billionaires have pledged $1 billion to fund radical new energy technologies, and they’ve just announced their first seven investments. Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) is an investment fund that aims to shake up the energy industry. […]

How to Feed Global Demand for Seafood—Without Harming the Ocean

“You really can’t justify tuna in Chicago as a source of sustenance.” That’s according to Dr. Sylvia Earle, a National Geographic Society Explorer who was the first female chief scientist at NOAA. She came to the Good Food Institute’s Good Food Conference to deliver a call to action around global food security, agriculture, environmental protection, […]

The Earth’s Carrying Capacity for Human Life Is Not Fixed

In a recent Nature Sustainability paper, a team of scientists concluded that the Earth can sustain, at most, only 7 billion people at subsistence levels of consumption (and this June saw us at 7.6 billion). Achieving “high life satisfaction” for everyone, however, would transgress the Earth’s biophysical boundaries, leading to ecological collapse. Despite its seeming […]

Big Tech Should Take the Lead on Climate Change—Here’s Why

At Collision, which calls itself “North America’s fastest-growing tech conference,” former United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres threw down a challenge to tech titans: move the world from incremental to exponential action on climate change. The digital tech sector is the wild card in fossil-fuel escape plans. Disruption of the global economy is on the […]