Watching the Arctic thaw in fast-forward — ScienceDaily

The Arctic is warming more quickly than almost any other region on Earth as a result of climate change. One of the better known: the continually shrinking summer sea-ice extent in the Arctic. But global warming is also leaving its mark on terrestrial permafrost. For several years, permafrost regions have been thawing more and more intensively in North America, Scandinavia and Siberia — e.g. in the extreme northwest of Alaska. Permafrost is soil that has remained permanently frozen to depths of up to several hundred metres, often since the last glacial period, roughly 20,000 years ago, or in some cases even longer.

The permafrost regions near the city of Kotzebue, Alaska, are dotted with hundreds of thaw lakes. These are formed when the permafrost soils begin to thaw and subside. Meltwater from the soil or from the winter snowfall and summer rainfall collects in the hollows. Some are several thousand

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The algorithms are watching us, but who is watching the algorithms?

Empowering algorithms to make potentially life-changing decisions about citizens still comes with significant risk of unfair discrimination, according to a new report published by the UK’s Center for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI). In some sectors, the need to provide adequate resources to make sure that AI systems are unbiased is becoming particularly pressing – namely, the public sector, and specifically, policing. 

The CDEI spent two years investigating the use of algorithms in both the private and the public sector, and was faced with many different levels of maturity in dealing with the risks posed by algorithms. In the financial sector, for example, there seems to be much closer regulation of the use of data for decision-making; while local government is still in the early days of managing the issue. 

Although awareness of the threats that AI might pose is growing across all industries, the report found that there is

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5 Scientific Facts We Learned Just By Watching The Moon

The brightest object in the night sky, our Moon is an unmistakable sight.

Beyond its skyward motion and changing phases, naked-eye lunar observations yield tremendous scientific knowledge.

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4 Emerging Tech Trends to Continue Watching



a man wearing glasses: 4 Emerging Tech Trends to Continue Watching


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4 Emerging Tech Trends to Continue Watching

Tech innovations to watch as they move forward in light of the response to coronavirus.

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Last year, 2020 was heralded as the exciting start of the century’s third decade. Today, its conclusion can’t come fast enough for most entrepreneurs. Yet the recent sweeping societal and corporate changes likely won’t subside when the calendar hits 2021. In fact, they’ve altered life for the foreseeable future, and that’s not all bad for businesses.

Case in point: Teleconferencing–predicted long ago by Bill Gates–has risen as an acceptable alternative to professional meetings and casual hangouts. As a result, Zoom’s busting at the seams and adding new perks and amenities. And who could deny that many employees and companies are now seeing remote work with fresh eyes?

Gartner research from July showed 82% of executives surveyed expected to allow telecommuting in some fashion

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Big tech raked in the profits again. Washington is watching

The on-again-off-again romance between Silicon Valley and Washington, DC is starting to look a lot like a Hollywood production. And just like any other franchise worth it’s salt, it’s all about the sequel. 



Sundar Pichai, Mark Zuckerberg posing for the camera: Guess who reported profits? James Martin/CNET


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Guess who reported profits? James Martin/CNET

Three months ago, four Big Tech moguls pleaded with Congress that their enormous, world-beating companies weren’t monopolies. Nothing like it, they told skeptical lawmakers. Competition was fierce, they insisted. In a great plot twist, Apple , Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook all touted second-quarter earnings that would make Midas blush the very next day.

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The follow-up, this one focused on free expression on the internet, brought together a similar cast this week. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg , Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Sundar Pichai, the boss of Alphabet and its key Google subsidiary, all woke up early for fiery testimony on Wednesday. On Thursday, the sequel

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The world is watching the US election. What are they thinking?

The U.S. elections are just one week away and the eyes of the world are watching.

Here are the views from over a dozen countries, reported by the ABC News team around the world from Sao Paulo to Seoul, Hong Kong to Havana.

Mexico

PHOTO: People watch the first 2020 presidential campaign debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, at the Pinche Gringo restaurant in Mexico City, Mexico, Sept. 29, 2020.

People watch the first 2020 presidential campaign debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, at the Pinche Gringo restaurant in Mexico City, Mexico, Sept. 29, 2020.

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Aliens From These Worlds Could Be Watching Us Right Now

Artist’s impression of an exoplanet located within its star’s habitable zone.

Artist’s impression of an exoplanet located within its star’s habitable zone.
Image: NASA

Since the 1990s, astronomers have catalogued more than 3,000 exoplanets using a fairly basic detection technique known as the transit method. But what if aliens are using the same technique to spy on us? A team of astronomers is now exploring this very exciting—if not totally terrifying—possibility.

The title of the new paper, published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, sums up the purpose of the study rather nicely: “Which stars can see Earth as a transiting exoplanet?” Indeed, astronomers on Earth use the transit method to spot exoplanets, so it stands to reason that alien astronomers might be using the same technique to spot us.

The transit method doesn’t allow astronomers to see an exoplanet directly. Rather, they’re seeing the temporary dimming of a distant star, in a possible sign that

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