The Great Barrier Reef has lost half its corals in just 20 years, study says

The population of corals within Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has plummeted by 50 percent in the last two decades, according to a new study published on Wednesday.

Researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Queensland, Australia, assessed the colony size of corals in the reef — the world’s largest — between 1995 and 2017, and found a drastic depletion in the population of small, medium and large coral.

“The decline occurred in both shallow and deeper water, and across virtually all species, but especially in branching and table-shaped corals,” study co-author Professor Terry Hughes said of the findings, published in the Royal Society journal.

These specific corals are especially important in providing a habitat for marine life such as fish that inhabit the reef, the researchers said, meaning their loss also results in a decline in reef biodiversity. Despite covering less than 0.1 percent of

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The iPhone 12 Pro Max could be Apple’s biggest camera jump in years

Apple has announced its iPhone 12 lineup, and as ever, the phones’ camera systems were the focus of much of the company’s presentation. This year, though, there’s more to differentiate each model than ever before. The iPhone range is getting improvements across the board, but Apple appears to be reserving the biggest advances for its biggest phone. The 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max has some serious hardware improvements that set its camera apart from every other iPhone.



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Hardware-wise, there doesn’t appear to be much difference between the iPhone 12, 12 mini, and 12 Pro when compared to the 11 and 11 Pro. All of these phones use the same-sized 12 megapixel sensors for wide, ultrawide, and the Pro model’s telephoto cameras, and the shape and size of the camera bump remains essentially the same.

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The biggest hardware change is a new seven-element f/1.6 lens for the primary wide

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Apple’s full-size iPhone 12 costs at least $100 more than last year’s iPhone 11

  • One of the biggest changes to the iPhone lineup this year deals with its segmentation and pricing.
  • Apple changed its iPhone lineup so that the entry-level new model advertised at $699 is now a Mini device with a smaller screen. The regular iPhone 12 costs $799, $100 more than the iPhone 11 did when it came out.
  • If the iPhone 12 becomes the most popular of Apple’s current models, as is likely, the increase could boost the average iPhone selling price, a key metric for Apple investors.



Tim Cook holding a sign: Apple CEO Tim Cook reveals the new iPhone 12.


© Provided by CNBC
Apple CEO Tim Cook reveals the new iPhone 12.

Apple announced new iPhones Tuesday in a video presentation just over an hour long covering the new devices’ faster chips, 5G speeds and capabilities, and improved cameras.

But one of the most important pieces of information for investors and customers got significantly less stage time: Changes to the iPhone lineup’s

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Explaining the science behind this year’s Nobel Prizes for Chemistry and Physics | The Hindu In Focus podcast

In this second part of a two-episode series on the Nobel Prizes, we go into the Chemistry and Physics 2020 awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna, for discovering one of gene technology’s sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors.

Also read our explainer on the Chemistry Nobel 2020:

And for physics, British mathematician-physicist Roger Penrose received half of this year’s prize “for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity”, as the the Nobel Committee put it. German Reinhard Genzel and American Andrea Ghez received the second half of the prize “for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the center of our galaxy.” We explain the science behind both awards.

Also read our explainer on the Physics Nobel 2020:

 

Guest: T.V. Venkateshwaran, Science Communicator, Senior Scientist at Vigyan Prasar, New Delhi.

Find the In Focus podcast

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3M Survey Reports Decline In Science Skepticism For First Time In 3 Years

Since 2018, 3M has launched an annual State of Science Index to track public attitudes towards science across the world. But for 2020, the company conducted two surveys, a Pre-Pandemic Wave and a Pandemic Pulse Wave survey, finding that science skepticism has declined for the first time in three years, and that there is an increased public understanding of the importance of science in our daily lives.

In the Pre-Pandemic Wave survey, representative samples of 1,000 adults (aged 18+) in 18 countries, including China, Mexico and the US, were asked to complete a 15-20 minute long survey to assess their attitude towards science. Among the pre-pandemic survey findings, there was a rise in science skepticism to 35%, from an original 29% in 2018.

“As the pandemic sort of

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Study Suggests A Supernova Exploded Near Earth About 2.5 Million Years Ago, Possibly Causing An Extinction Event

Supernovas are amazingly bright explosions of massive stars at the end of their lives. During the gravitational collapse, the outer layers of the star are pushed away, and chemical elements formed inside the star are released into space. This cosmic dust rains down onto the Earth continuously, including exotic elements formed inside the dying star.

Research published in the journal Physical Review Letters used the concentration of two such exotic elements preserved in ocean sediments to hypothesize that a supernova exploded near Earth just 2.5 million years ago.

The authors, led by Dr. Gunther Korschinek from the Technical University of Munich, focused their study on ferromanganese crusts collected in the Pacific Ocean.

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Apple iPhone 12 release could be biggest product launch in years

  • Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup is expected to be a major smartphone launch that some analysts predict could be a once-in-a-decade opportunity for the company.
  • The combination of 5G support, new size options and designs, affordable pricing, and the fact that many active iPhones are aging will likely to lead to a massive iPhone upgrade cycle.
  • That’s especially important because Apple has been grappling with slowing iPhones sales in recent years, prompting it to boost other product segments like wearables and services.
  • Apple is expected to announce its new iPhones on Tuesday.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Apple’s annual iPhone launches are always closely watched by customers and Wall Street alike. But 2020 represents a particularly critical moment for the tech giant.

Analysts are expecting the iPhone 12, which will likely be unveiled at the company’s Tuesday event, to represent Apple’s biggest upgrade cycle in years.

That’s because many

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Facebook bans Holocaust-denial content after allowing it for years

  • Facebook announced Monday it was changing its hate speech policy to “prohibit any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust.”
  • The company has faced criticism for more than a decade over its refusal to moderate anti-Semitic content that distorts or denies the Holocaust, when Nazis and their allies systematically killed 6 million Jews, happened.
  • In the weeks leading up to the 2020 presidential election, Facebook has attempted to mitigate criticism that it fails to prevent the spread of dangerous conspiracy theories and disinformation on its platform. Just last week, Facebook said it banned QAnon accounts across its platforms.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Facebook has banned Holocaust-denial content from the platform after years of criticism over its refusal to take action against such anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Facebook announced Monday it was updating its hate speech policy to “prohibit any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust.”

The policy change

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The Atlantic Ocean Hasn’t Been This Hot in at Least 2,900 Years

Hurricane Florence as seen from the International Space Station.

Hurricane Florence as seen from the International Space Station.
Photo: NASA (Getty Images)

More than 20 years after intoning, “The water’s getting warm, so you might as well swim,” Smash Mouth’s “All Star” continues to be prophetic. Case in point: A new study finds that the Atlantic Ocean just had its hottest decade in at least 2,900 years. Someone award Smash Mouth a PhD and calculate the h-index of their discography immediately.

The new findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, rely on a mix of ice and sediment cores as well as thermometer data to track the state of the Atlantic. The ocean has gone through a well-known up-and-down swing in sea surface temperature, known as the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation. Plotted over hundreds of years, the AMO looks like a pretty steady wave pattern. In its warm phase, it

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Central Asian horse riders played ball games 3,000 years ago — ScienceDaily

Researchers have investigated ancient leather balls discovered in the graves of horse riders in northwest China. According to the international research team, they are around 3,000 years old, making them the oldest balls in Eurasia. The find suggests amongst others that the mounted warriors of Central Asia played ball games to keep themselves fit.

Today, ball games are one of the most popular leisure activities in the world, an important form of mass entertainment and big business. But who invented balls, where and when? The oldest balls that are currently known about were made in Egypt about 4,500 years ago using linen. Central Americans have been playing ball games for at least 3,700 years, as evidenced through monumental ball courts made of stone and depictions of ball players. Their oldest balls were made of rubber. Until now, it was believed that ball games in Europe and Asia followed much later:

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