If the word “drone” conjures negative thoughts of spying and remote warfare, here’s something cheerful to contemplate.
Drones and digital tags are helping scientists study humpback whales in remote areas of the Antarctic, where in-person access is limited.
A partnership among Duke University Marine Robotics and Remote Sensing Lab (MaRRS), Friedlaender Lab, California Ocean Alliance, and the World Wildlife Fund is using drone photography to study how the whales feed, how healthy they are, and how they’re being affected by climate change. Drone images are also used to count local populations.
13-year old techie Amanda Southworth had suffered from anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts for most of her young life. When she couldn’t find an easy, affordable alternative to traditional modes of therapy, this brilliant coder invented it.
Three years later, her app AnxietyHelper has helped more than 68,000 people. The app provides information on mental health conditions, links to hotlines, and tools such as a stress relieving game to help its users cope with daily challenges.
Southworth hasn’t stopped there. She’s created a safety app for the LGBTQ+ community, an app to help psychosis patients manage their hallucinations, and a social media platform for protest groups so they can mobilize more safely and efficiently.
The Nature Conservancy recently reported survey results indicating that Hawaiian coral reefs are showing signs of growth and stabilization after devastating bleaching occurred in 2015. The healthier reefs were generally further away from excessive exposure to “human influences”, but even the most vulnerable species are starting to recover.
What’s more, there’s good news for fish living on coral reefs impacted by climate change*. A new study suggests that these reefs can still be productive, as the fish get most of their food from the currents which flow past them.
Yes, the first hurdle is getting people to actually admit there is such a thing, and that it poses a major threat.
But here’s reason for guarded optimism: According to recent reports, a new technique can convert carbon dioxide back into coal. In theory, this could make huge inroads into eliminating the global dangers of greenhouse gases.
Of course, a massive undertaking would be enormously expensive. But where there’s money to be made, there’s a way.
That alone might convert some skeptics.
Coal: It’s not just for barbecues anymore! Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com