Marine heatwaves last longer in deeper water: study

Marine heatwaves may last longer and be more intense in deeper water, potentially threatening sensitive species as climate change makes the extreme events more frequent, researchers said on Monday. Oceans have absorbed 90 percent of the excess heat produced by the carbon pollution from human activity since the dawn of the industrial age. Marine heatwaves — episodes of abnormally high water temperatures — have become more frequent and intense. These can have a particularly severe […]

Scientists warn entire branches of the ‘Tree of Life’ are going extinct

By Lucie AUBOURG Humans are driving the loss of entire branches of the “Tree of Life,” according to a new study published on Monday which warns of the threat of a sixth mass extinction. “The extinction crisis is as bad as the climate change crisis. It is not recognized,” said Gerardo Ceballos, professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and co-author of the study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). […]

Too stealthy? US military jet disappears from skies

WASHINGTON, Sept 18, 2023 (AFP) – The US military scrambled Monday to locate a stealth jet that went missing after the pilot ejected — with the failure to track the aircraft drawing amazement and ridicule in equal measure. When the F-35 disappeared over South Carolina on Sunday, Joint Base Charleston (JBC) issued a plaintive call on social media asking for anyone who had information to call in. Flight tracking sites showed several search aircraft focused […]

Asian Games landmark for eSports fires Olympic dreams

NEW DELHI, Sept 18, 2023 (AFP) – ESports’ debut as a medal event at the Asian Games starting this week will change attitudes and be a major step towards Olympic recognition at last, gamers and experts say. Gaming was a demonstration sport at the 2018 Asian Games but gold medals will be up for grabs this time in Hangzhou in seven different games. Players will battle in EA Sports FC, PUBG Mobile, Arena of Valor, […]

Dead spider claws and ‘anal-print’ toilets: 2023’s Ig Nobels

By Daniel Lawler Reanimating dead spiders to use them as robot claws, licking rocks, backwards talking and a toilet that scans “anal-prints”: this year’s Ig Nobel prizes again put a spotlight on the quirky side of science. The 23rd edition of the annual awards, given out “for achievements that first make people laugh, then make them think”, was broadcast in an online ceremony on Thursday evening US-time. Real Nobel prize winners — some wearing silly […]

Rockets and Porsches: rich Russians flock to Baikonur spaceport

By Andrey BORODULIN Everyone should witness a rocket launch in their lifetime, says Yevgeniya Degtyarnikova as she watches the rollout of a Soyuz from its hangar in the vast steppes of Kazakhstan. “Unfortunately, my husband could not come so I am fulfilling my dream and his,” said the 35-year-old from the city of Tyumen in western Siberia. “I will bring my entire family here. This is the place that everyone must visit,” she told AFP […]

AI ‘no substitute’ for fashion designers’ creativity

By Helen ROWE AI is transforming the fashion world but the fast growing technology will never be a replacement for designers’ “original creativity”, according to the head of a pioneering project. Fashion innovator Calvin Wong has developed the Interactive Design Assistant for Fashion (AiDA) — the world’s first designer-led AI system. It uses image-recognition technology to speed up the time it takes for a design to go from a first sketch to the catwalk. “Designers […]

Prehistoric Tell al-Sultan site added to world heritage list

By Imad Abu Sombul with Jay Deshmukh in Jerusalem UNESCO inscribed the prehistoric site of Tell al-Sultan, near the Palestinian city of Jericho in the occupied West Bank, on its World Heritage List Sunday, in a move criticised by Israel. Tell al-Sultan, which predates Egypt’s pyramids, is an oval-shaped tell, or mound, in the Jordan Valley, and contains the prehistoric deposits of human activity. The decision by the United Nations cultural organisation, which it posted […]

Climate protesters throng New York, demand end to fossil fuels

NEW YORK, Sept 17, 2023 (AFP) – Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of New York on Sunday, calling for increased action against climate change ahead of the opening of the UN General Assembly. Taking up multiple city blocks, protesters from some 700 organizations and activist groups carried signs reading “Biden, end fossil fuels,” “Fossil fuels are killing us” and “I didn’t vote for fires and floods” in a demonstration that came […]

California sues oil giants, alleging climate risks deception: NYT

LOS ANGELES, Sept 16, 2023 (AFP) – The US state of California sued five of the world’s largest oil companies on Friday, alleging the firms caused billions of dollars in damages and misled the public by minimizing the risks from fossil fuels, The New York Times reported. It follows numerous other cases brought by US cities, counties and states against fossil fuel interests over the impact of climate change as well as alleged disinformation campaigns […]

US authorities seize artworks allegedly stolen by Nazis

NEW YORK, Sept 15, 2023 (AFP) – US authorities seized three artworks allegedly looted by the Nazis and which are being sought by the heirs of a Jewish art collector who died in the Holocaust, officials said Thursday. They confirmed a report in The New York Times that said New York investigators had taken these works by the 1900s Austrian expressionist Egon Schiele from three US-based museums. In warrants issued Tuesday and seen by AFP, […]

Rarely seen works by abstract master Nicolas De Stael open in Paris

PARIS, Sept 15, 2023 (AFP) – An unprecedented collection of paintings by 20th century abstract master Nicolas de Stael have been gathered for a show that opened in Paris on Friday — including several even his own children have never seen. The exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art includes some 200 paintings by de Stael, a key figure in France’s postwar art scene. They include several that have never shown in public because the […]