AI reveals the Sahara actually has millions of trees

A study finds 1.8 billion trees and shrubs in the Sahara desert.

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  • AI analysis of satellite images sees trees and shrubs where human eyes can't.
  • At the western edge of the Sahara is more significant vegetation than previously suspected.
  • Machine learning trained to recognize trees completed the detailed study in hours.
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Here are 3 main causes of wildfires, and 3 ways to prevent them

We're in an era of 'megafires'.

Brett Hemmings/Getty Images

A headline that reads 'The Worst Year in History for Wildfires' should be a shocking and dramatic statement. Instead, it's in danger of becoming a cliché, a well-worn phrase, an annual event.

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Children raised near greener areas have higher IQs, study finds

Spending time in green spaces seems to yield many health benefits, most of which researchers are only beginning to understand.

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  • The longitudinal study examined the development of pairs of twins growing up in various parts of Belgium.
  • The results revealed a positive relationship between growing up near greener spaces and having a higher IQ.
  • The differences were especially significant on the lower end of the intelligence spectrum, suggesting that policy changes could make a significant difference in intellectual development.
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Warming tropical soils may add carbon to the air

Carbon locked in soils can be emitted by bacteria. Turning up the heat on them releases more carbon.

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  • A new study shows that an increase in temperature can increase the amount of carbon released by the soil.
  • This is in line with previous studies, though this one demonstrates a larger increase than the older experiments.
  • The risk is that increasing temperatures cause a positive feedback loop.
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Waving to the Great Mapmaker in the Sky

Some intriguing examples of people grooming the land for the unseen observer above.

Image: Bing Maps
  • All over the world, people are writing messages and symbols on the land that can only be seen from above.
  • These messages are not for God, but for our fellow humans – pilots, balloonists, or an abstract Mapmaker in the Sky.
  • Non-symbolic communication with the heavens can be traced back to a cartographic innovation by Da Vinci.
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