Next time you watch a flock, or mummuration of starlings swoop high and low in perfect unison, or a flock of geese migrating to new feeding grounds, imagine a similar scene but with drones instead of birds. It might sound far-fetched but it’s likely to be a reality in the not-too-distant future, as scientists have been working on developing software inspired by nature in order to allow a swarm of unmanned drones to carry out aerial surveys.
Worldwide, our oceans are at risk of being damaged by the effects of climate change. Many of us are aware that this includes increased temperatures at the surface of the ocean, but another less well-known effect is ocean acidification. This increase in acidity happens as a result of our oceans taking in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The Larsen Ice Shelf is located on the north-western side of Antarctic Peninsula, extending out towards South America. The ice shelf is made up of a number of distinct segments, which have steadily been breaking up since the 1990s. Now, one section of the ice shelf, known as Larsen C, looks set to be on the brink of collapse.
Anouk Wipprecht is a designer and electronic wearables artist and has created a design dubbed the ‘spider dress.’ The spider dress comes complete with an Intel Edison chip that uses biosignals for protection, which is an intuitive system that uses biofeedback. It has the ability to record the user’s motions as well as their mental state.
In the mountains on the edge of the Sahara desert in Southwest Morocco, families are leaving their villages due to severe drought conditions which have left the local population struggling to survive.
The environmental impact of oil spills is immense, and scientists are always looking for better ways to minimize this.
Currently, for oil spills in open waters, one of the most commonly used methods is to carry out what is known as ‘in-situ burning’. This involves burning off the oil from the surface of the ocean before it has a chance to sink or move with the ocean currents and cause a huge amount of ecological damage over a large area.
The future of humankind is dependent on the ability to overcome one of the greatest challenges it is currently facing: sustainability. Whilst the challenge is clear, the path to a successful sustainable food system is not. One question is to what degree technological development can influence the food production chain.