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Environmental Law


How to reverse-engineer a rainforest

Engadget

But 2019 was the year the earth burned. In Australia, the world watched in horror as bushfires destroyed 10.3 million hectares, marking the continent's most intense and destructive fire season in over 40 years. Earlier that fall, California saw more than 101,000 hectares destroyed, with damages upward of $80 billion. Alaska saw nearly a million. Record-breaking fires also hit Indonesia, Russia, Lebanon -- but nowhere saw the sheer mass of media coverage as the fires that tore through the Amazon nearly all last summer. By year's end, thousands of global media outlets had reported that Brazil's largest rainforest played host to more than 80,000 individual forest fires in 2019, resulting in an estimated 906,000 square hectares of environmental destruction. At the time, Brazil's National Institute for Space Research reported it was the fastest rate of burning since record keeping began in 2013. But amid the charred ruins of one of the largest oxygen-producing environments on the planet, a secret lies buried beneath the soil.


What Do DDT and Computing Have in Common?

Communications of the ACM

Writing on the 50th Earth Day brings to mind the origins of U.S. environmental movement. DDT is, of course, Bis(4-chlorophenyl)- 1,1,1-trichloroethane, perhaps the most effective insecticide ever invented. DDT was used widely with remarkable effectiveness in the 1940s and 1950s to combat malaria, typhus, and the other insect-borne human diseases. Its efficacy was unsurpassed in insect control for crop and livestock production, and even villages and homes. In short, it was a wonder chemical.7


Tackling climate change with machine learning: The power of entrepreneurship IAM Network

#artificialintelligence

The importance of start-ups and climate tech companies in advancing the use of machine learning to combat climate change was emphasized at a recent online workshop. May 6, 2020 pv magazineAcademics from a group devoted to considering how machine learning can help combat climate change have spoken of the response to a recent workshop which was moved online because of the Covid-19 crisis.The Climate Change AI group hosted a'tackling climate change with machine learning' workshop during this year's International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR) event."We've "These forecasts can then be sold to electricity suppliers …


UK to combat air pollution with AI-powered traffic lights

#artificialintelligence

The UK plans to tackle pollution with AI-powered traffic lights that delay the arrival of vehicles in toxic air hotspots. The system collects data on local pollution and traffic flows through roadside sensors, weather forecasts, and Bluetooth devices in cars. An algorithm then analyzes both live and historical data to predict where air pollution will spike within the next hour. When the system forecasts a sharp rise in toxic pollutants, the traffic light timings will automatically change. Drivers on their way to pollution hotspots will be held at red lights for up to 20 seconds longer than usual.


AI can tackle the climate emergency – if developed responsibly

#artificialintelligence

Our planet is altering at a dangerous pace due to climate change. And at the same time, we seem to be entering a period of unprecedented technological transformation. Advances in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and internet-connected devices are creating increasingly complex intelligent technological systems. As pressures on the planet and its climate increase, so does the hope that these novel technologies will be able to help us detect, adapt and respond to the growing environmental crisis. There are plenty of examples of how artificial intelligence could do this.


AI can tackle the climate emergency -- if developed responsibly

#artificialintelligence

Our planet is altering at a dangerous pace due to climate change. And at the same time, we seem to be entering a period of unprecedented technological transformation. Advances in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and internet-connected devices are creating increasingly complex intelligent technological systems. As pressures on the planet and its climate increase, so does the hope that these novel technologies will be able to help us detect, adapt and respond to the growing environmental crisis. There are plenty of examples of how artificial intelligence could do this.


Intel & Accenture Use AI To Save The Coral Reef

#artificialintelligence

Today, April 22, 2020, is Earth Day. Accenture, Intel and the Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation announced Project: CORaiL, an artificial intelligence (AI) - powered solution to monitor, characterize and analyze coral reef resilience. Since May 2019, it's been deployed to the reef surrounding Pangatalan Island, Philipines. Researchers have been using the 40,000 images collected to study the effects of climate change in the area. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, coral reefs protect coastlines from tropical storms, provide food and income for 1 billion people, and generate $9.6 billion in tourism and recreation.


Artificial Intelligence: Inside AI funds

#artificialintelligence

AI investment funds are not all about mega-caps like Alphabet, but about companies in other sectors using AI to increase competition, finds Fiona Rintoul. If you were to ask artificial intelligence (AI) how to save the planet, it would probably tell you to kill all humans, because they cause the pollution that creates climate change. But that would not be the response you wanted; therefore, you must recalibrate. "We need to ask the right questions of AI," says Rani Piputri, head of automated intelligence investing at NN Investment Partners. "In this situation, AI will nudge people to have fewer children."


Can AI help save penguins? - Microsoft News Center India

#artificialintelligence

Penguins inhabit one of the most secluded parts of the planet, yet human activity is threatening their existence. Warmer temperatures associated with climate change are melting the Antarctic ice faster than ever, eroding the grounds where penguins live, feed and breed, while commercial overfishing and incidents like oil spills are depleting their food supply. A 2008 World Wildlife Fund study reveals that if the global average temperatures increase by just 2 C – a distinct possibility over the next 40 years – around 50 percent of emperor penguins and 75 percent of Adelie penguins could disappear. Conservation efforts for penguins are easier said than done. Their secluded existence in the Antarctic region means there is very little data available, and manned missions are difficult, especially during the harsh winters.


AirRL: A Reinforcement Learning Approach to Urban Air Quality Inference

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Urban air pollution has become a major environmental problem that threatens public health. It has become increasingly important to infer fine-grained urban air quality based on existing monitoring stations. One of the challenges is how to effectively select some relevant stations for air quality inference. In this paper, we propose a novel model based on reinforcement learning for urban air quality inference. The model consists of two modules: a station selector and an air quality regressor. The station selector dynamically selects the most relevant monitoring stations when inferring air quality. The air quality regressor takes in the selected stations and makes air quality inference with deep neural network. We conduct experiments on a real-world air quality dataset and our approach achieves the highest performance compared with several popular solutions, and the experiments show significant effectiveness of proposed model in tackling problems of air quality inference.