Category Archives: Environment

Cultural Evolution

Cultural Evolution

By: Vineeta Tawney

For CNESystems                                                

What is Cultural evolution?

Cultural evolution is an evolutionary theory of social change. It follows from the definition of culture as “information capable of affecting individuals’ behavior that they acquire from other members of their species through teaching, imitation and other forms of social transmission”. Cultural evolution is the change of this information over time.

Cultural evolution, historically also known as sociocultural evolution, was originally developed in the 19th century by anthropologists stemming. Today, cultural evolution has become the basis for a growing field of scientific research in the social sciences, including anthropology, economics, psychology and organizational studies. Previously, it was believed that social change resulted from biological adaptations, but anthropologists now commonly accept that social changes arise in consequence of a combination of social, evolutionary and biological influences.

‘Cultural evolution’ is often used by archaeologists to refer to a progressive historical trend, with progress defined in ethnocentric terms, such as greater social and political complexity.

There have been a number of different approaches to the study of cultural evolution, including dual inheritance theory, sociocultural evolution, memetics, cultural evolutionism and other variants on cultural selection theory. The approaches differ not just in the history of their development and discipline of origin but in how they conceptualize the process of cultural evolution and the assumptions, theories and methods that they apply to its study.

Cultural evolution is the change of culture over time

If we define culture as “information capable of affecting individuals’ behavior that they acquire from other members of their species through teaching, imitation and other forms of social transmission,” cultural evolution is fundamentally just the change of culture over time.

The core idea of cultural evolution is that cultural change constitutes an evolutionary process that shares fundamental similarities with – but also differs in key ways from – genetic evolution. As such, human behavior is shaped by both genetic and cultural evolution. The same can be said for many other animal species; like the tool use of chimpanzees or Caledonian crows or the complex social organization of hives for ants, bees, termites, and wasps.

The roles of transmission and innovation in cultural evolution

Thus far, we have made the analogy between alleles of a gene and forms of a cultural trait, implying that the cultural trait in question can be represented in a binary or discrete manner. Although this approximation is appropriate for some culturally transmitted traits, such as knowing or not knowing how to use a certain tool, or smoking or not smoking, some cultural traits are more naturally regarded as continuous or quantitative traits. For example, cultural norms and preferences, such as degree of risk tolerance, have been modeled as continuous traits and knowledge of a tool or technique has usefully been represented in terms of a quantitative skill level.

What is the importance of Cultural Evolution?

Cultural evolutionary theory has led to significant advances in our understanding of the effects of nonrandom mating, revealing that the transmission and dynamics of cultural traits can be sensitive to both phenotypic and environmental assorting.

Assortative mating, leading to an increased correlation between mates for genetic or cultural traits, can increase both genotypic and phenotypic variance in a population.

Models of culture and human ecology

For thousands of generations humans have been carving their existence in the world with cultural tools that have become integral to their livelihoods, thereby shaping their environment at all scales, both intentionally and unintentionally. Attempting to answer the question of what are the extensions of human biology through culture leads to a striking conclusion: There are few aspects of human biology that have not been shaped by our culture. Human culture has also affected the biology, even the survival, of nonhuman species.

AI used in Flood Forecasting

flood_normalFloods are inevitable, but with timely alerts, their effects can be minimized. There are a number of people who die every year due to devastating floods, the number of people becomes homeless and a number of people die due to lack of proper help after a flood. The lack of timely alerts has always been an issue concerning it. Delay in alerts in flood prone areas is the biggest loophole of an economy. Continue reading

GREENHOUSE GASES – Pandemic brings in the Drop

DRASTIC DROP IN GREENHOUSE GASES

By: Vineeta Tawney
CNESystems

Global CO2 Emissions Saw Record Drop during Pandemic Lockdown

 The wave of shutdowns and shuttered economies caused by the coronavirus pandemic fueled a momentous decline in global greenhouse gas emissions.

As infections surged in March and April, nations worldwide experienced an abrupt reduction in driving, flying and industrial output, leading to a startling decline of more than 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions. That includes a peak drop in daily emissions of 17 percent in early April. For some nations, the falloff was much steeper.

At first glance, a reduction of that magnitude appears massive. In comparison, global emissions dropped 1.5% during the Great Recession in 2009.

But a deeper look shows that individual changes in behavior produce limited emission reductions. Much of the world stopped traveling, eating in restaurants and buying merchandise. It was an unmatched experiment and yet 80% of emissions were untouched.

Even an emissions drop of that scale would fall short of the 7.6% annual reductions the United Nations has said are necessary over the next decade to hold the global temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees Celsius. Continue reading

Dos and Don’t of Backyard Composting

Dos and Don’t of Backyard Composting

CompostingBackyard Composting

Starting a compost bin is one of the easiest ways to reduce your household’s waste and create nutrient rich soil that can be used throughout your garden. With so many different options and styles of compost bins available these days, the best part is that a compost bin no longer has to be an eyesore in your garden and can easily tie in with your landscaping design. Continue reading

Podzolization

Podzolization encompasses the downward migration of Al and Fe, together with organic matter, from the surface areas and their accumulation in the profile’s deep areas.

This process is characterised by a strong acidity that causes the slow development of organic matter (which releases abundant organic compounds with an acidic nature) and an extreme alteration of the mineral phase (releasing abundant elements that are lixiviated by the drainage waters, while the medium is enriched with insoluble elements, such as Fe and Al, which are migrated downward by the organic compounds towards deeper horizons). In short, an eluvial horizon is formed on the surface with intense substance losses.

A process of soil formation, esp. in cool, humid regions, in which the upper layers are leached of iron, lime, and alumina, which are then concentrated in underlying layers.

The evidence that the podzolization process has developed in a soil is reflected in the profile’s spectacular micromorphology, with abundant coverings of organic matter on the sand grains in horizon Bh.

 

Hydrology and Soil

The relation between Hydrology and Soil

By: Vineeta Tawney

It is important to understand how the water and soil work in the town as well. For instance, one would want the ground to be both permeable and porous so it can store plenty of water for the plants.The hydraulic, or water, cycle as a whole is fairly self-explanatory. Water falls down to the earth through precipitation, such as rain or snow, runs down as discharge into a reservoir such as lakes, rivers, and oceans, and through evaporation, collects again in the sky as clouds. The figure below is a good visual representation of this cycle:

There are a few different types of water, gravitational, hygrosophic, and capillary. Capillary water is what plants (such as the one in the figure below) use to collect nutrients they need. This happens by the water moving up from pore space to pore space, in this case, against gravity.
There are many aquiclude wells. This means that the water comes up to the surface from the water table through its own pressure, and does not have to be pumped. The residents of this small town use these wells to water their crops, cooking, and bathing. What they are most likely unaware of, however is that if they use more water that is replaced by participation, the ground will lower and fill in the area where the water used to be held.. The wells will then dry up, and they will no longer be able to be filled. Residents will have to gather their water from the lake resting near the top of a mountain, or the ocean.
Soil is another important factor in farming. For example, if the soil is too hard or dry, or if it does not have enough nutrients than no, or very few crops will grow. A farming community needs a very lucrative soil to produce its main source of income. Following the graph below, and assuming that Trampoli has a climate similar to North Eastern United States since it has four very distinct seasons that vary dramatically in temperature, and it is near the coast, the process of the soil in Trampoli is somewhere between Poderization and Calification.
Also, looking at the soil profile below, there is a layer of soil that could be considered an ash-gray (at least if it was real). This color is from silica which is caused by a process called illuviation. This is a characteristic of soil formed by Podzolizatoin.

Hurricanes and Global Warming, are they connected?

Hurricanes and Global Warming, are they connected?

 By: Vineeta Tawney

What is Hurricanes

A hurricane is a type of storm called a tropical cyclone, which forms over tropical or subtropical waters.

A tropical cyclone is a rotating low-pressure weather system that has organized thunderstorms but no fronts (a boundary separating two air masses of different densities). Tropical cyclones with maximum sustained surface winds of less than 39 miles per hour (mph) are called tropical depressions.

What is Global Warming?

Global warming is the slow increase in the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere because an increased amount of the energy (heat) striking the earth from the sun is being trapped in the atmosphere and not radiated out into space.

The earth’s atmosphere has always acted like a greenhouse to capture the sun’s heat, ensuring that the earth has enjoyed temperatures that permitted the emergence of life forms as we know them, including humans.

Without our atmospheric greenhouse the earth would be very cold. Global warming, however, is the equivalent of a greenhouse with high efficiency reflective glass installed the wrong way around.

Two massive volcanic eruptions, one year after another placed so much black dust into the upper atmosphere that little sunlight could penetrate. Temperatures plummeted. Crops failed. People died of starvation and the Black Death started its march. As the dust slowly fell to earth, the sun was again able to warn the world and life returned to normal.

Hurricanes and Global Warming, are they connected?

Fig. 1

Global warming is adding more moisture to the atmosphere, providing more fuel for big storms like hurricanes. But tropical cyclones are extremely complicated. How much can we really link them to human-induced climate change? It depends on the link.

The key connection is that between sea surface temperatures and the power of hurricanes. Without going into technical details about the dynamics and thermodynamics involved in tropical storms and hurricanes the basic connection between the two is actually fairly simple: warm water, and the instability in the lower atmosphere that is created by it, is the energy source of hurricanes. This is why they only arise in the tropics and during the season when SSTs are highest.

SST is not the only influence on hurricane formation. Strong shear in atmospheric winds (that is, changes in wind strength and direction with height in the atmosphere above the surface), for example, inhibits development of the highly organized structure that is required for a hurricane to form. In the case of Atlantic hurricanes, the El Nino/Southern Oscillation tends to influence the vertical wind shear, and thus, in turn, the number of hurricanes that tend to form in a given year. Many other features of the process of hurricane development and strengthening, however, are closely linked to SST.

Model-based climate change detection/attribution studies have linked increasing tropical Atlantic SSTs to increasing greenhouse gases, but proposed links between increasing greenhouse gases and hurricane PDI or frequency has been based on statistical correlations. The statistical linkage of Atlantic hurricane PDI to Atlantic SST suggests at least the possibility of a large anthropogenic influence on Atlantic hurricanes. If this statistical relation between tropical Atlantic SSTs and hurricane activity is used to infer future changes in Atlantic hurricane activity, the implications are sobering: the large increases in tropical Atlantic SSTs projected for the late 21st century would imply very substantial increases in hurricane destructive potential–roughly a 300% increase in the PDI by 2100.

On the other hand, Swanson (2008) and others noted that Atlantic hurricane power dissipation is also well-correlated with other SST indices besides tropical Atlantic SST alone, and in particular with indices of Atlantic SST relative to tropical mean SST.

Green IOT to improve the environment

  • Compiled by: Vineeta Tawney
  • CNESystems
  1. GreenIOTWhat is Green IOT?Following four complementary paths along to comprehensively and effectively address the environmental effects of computing should be addressed for green computing road while using IoT:
  2. Green Use: Reducing the energy consumption of computers and other information systems as well as using them in an environmentally sound manner.
  3. Green Disposal: Refurbishing and reusing old computers and recycling unwanted computers and other electronic equipment.
  4. Green Design: Designing energy efficient and environmentally sound components, computers, and servers and cooling equipment’s.
  5. Green Manufacturing: Manufacturing electronic components, computers and other associated sub systems with minimal impact or no impact on the environment. Continue reading

Robotics and Climate Change

Robotics and Climate Change

By: Vineeta Tawney

CNESystems

RoboEnvirThe effects of climate change become more dramatic every year. As humans, we are experiencing changes in temperature and extreme natural disasters are sweeping across the world. Plants and animals are also affected by the changing climate, with delicate species at risk and crops dying in extreme heat and drought.
How Robots Are Helping in the Fight Against Climate Change
Universally, robot developers and researchers are using their passion for robotics to help the environment. One robot won’t solve all our problems, but together we can all work to make a difference. Here are the examples of robots fighting climate change. Continue reading