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Scary Spring: Earlier Blooms Are a Sign of Climate Change – HT Tech

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Global warming isn’t just hard for humans and animals. It’s wreaking havoc on plants, too.

The stirrings of springtime show nature awakening. Coaxed by warming air and stronger sunlight, flowers unfurl on cherry trees and eager green buds burst forth from horse chestnuts. A little hope returns, as bees buzz and birds build nests. This year, it’s been happening a little earlier — and the reason isn’t hard to find.

In Washington DC, the city’s famous cherry trees — the originals a gift from Japan in 1912 — reached peak blossom on March 21, rather earlier than a century ago. In Kyoto, where these trees’ cousins live, records show the first blooms advancing by a week over the past century, alongside a temperature increase of more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Planetary warming is driving a similar trend globally, shifting the timings of not only the first leaves and flowers, but bird migrations and egg-hatchings. These changes have accelerated in the past 20 years.

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We often think of global warming as something made evident only through difficult scientific measurements of atmospheric CO2 levels or average sea-surface temperatures. But signs of warming are all around us in distortions of the historical rhythms of the natural world, adding ominous overtones to the joyous springtime greenery. All these shifts reflect nature under increasing pressure — and hold unpredictable consequences for our well-being and the resilience of global ecosystems in coming decades.

The study of the timing of important biological events is known as “phenology,” and much of what we know about it comes from painstaking observations made over centuries. The longest time series recorded anywhere is for the cherry trees in Kyoto; remarkably, it goes all the way back to the year 812. This data, and a variety of other records — including data in the U.K. extending over 250 years — show that plants’ flowering and first-leaf dates remained fairly stable through the 19th century, then, along with rising planetary temperatures, started to creep earlier in the first half of the 20th century.

Since then, the changes have accelerated, while showing significant regional variation: Spring phenology has advanced by six days in China over the past 35 years and by 30 days in Switzerland. In Kyoto in 2021, the cherry trees bloomed on the earliest date in 1,200 years of meticulous record-keeping.

Adapting to the pace and unpredictability of planetary warming is difficult — not only for animals and humans, but for plants. One recent study examined shifts in the beginning and end of the growing season in the northern hemisphere over the past 30 years, comparing changes in temperature to plants’ responses. The researchers found that most plants lagged behind the pace of recent warming. Some even shifted their timings in the wrong direction — blooming later, rather than earlier. And some went dormant earlier in the fall, even though you’d think warmer autumns might extend their growing season.

These mismatches were more pronounced in landscapes dominated by human activities such as intensive farming. It’s not clear why, but here’s one possible reason: Species change their behavior not only in direct response to climate variables — temperatures, rainfall patterns and so on — but also in response to the shifting activities of other species with which they interact. The faster responses of species in undisturbed regions could reflect these species’ exposure to a broader spectrum of signals about the changing environment coming from many other plant species. In contrast, the sluggish plants in zones degraded by humans may be adapting slowly because they’re not getting signals from other plants.

Whatever the reason, plants’ lagging response is worrying. The consequences could be unpleasant for nature and humanity alike. It’s not so important, perhaps, precisely when the flowers bloom or birds hatch, but the integrity of the natural world depends on millions of such events taking place in delicate coordination and synchrony. When flowers bloom affects when bees can pollinate them, which later determines when birds and other animals find fruit to raise their young, which potentially provide food to other animals — including us. In nature, nothing happens in isolation.

How will global warming disturb these delicate relationships, accelerate the extinction of species, and drive up costs for human agriculture? Scientists don’t know. Nobody knows. We’re running a sweeping and dangerous experiment, and it would be far, far better if we never have to find out.

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China's Restrictions Delay iPhone 14 Development | by slashdotted | May, 2022 – DataDrivenInvestor

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According to a source, iPhone 14 development is behind schedule owing to Chinese lockdowns

At least one iPhone 14 model is three weeks late

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

According to a fresh rumor today, the development of at least one iPhone 14 model is three weeks behind schedule owing to Chinese lockdowns, which might damage initial production levels in the worst-case scenario.

According to reports, Apple has instructed suppliers to accelerate product development efforts in order to make up for a lost time before the delay impacts the regular manufacturing schedule, which might impair the initial production numbers of the iPhone 14 series.

By the end of June, all new iPhone models should have completed the EVT and moved on to the verification step.

As speculation grows regarding the characteristics of the next iPhone 14 models, such as an always-on display, a fresh source claims that the development of the line has been slowed by China’s coronavirus regulations.

All iPhone 14 versions are presently undergoing engineering verification testing (EVT), which involves Apple working with suppliers to optimize production processes and calculate manufacturing costs.

The unexpected lockdown shutdown of major Apple suppliers in Shanghai, as well as the effect on regional transportation, have caused the delay.

Apple is apparently working with its suppliers to expedite the process and get back on track.

The story seems to imply that, unlike the iPhone 12, the iPhone 14 will not be delayed and would instead come in the same September launch window as its current best iPhone, the iPhone 13.

Is the iPhone 14 going to be delayed?

According to this claim, it is doubtful that the iPhone 14 would be delayed.

The story does, however, raise the likelihood that one of the iPhone 14 versions may be substantially more difficult to get when it is introduced later this year.

The delay is claimed to be due to the internal development of the iPhone 14 series production process

. According to Nikkei, suppliers must adopt new manufacturing processes and adjust current production lines as part of a process known as New Product Introduction (NPI).

Last month, supposed real-world iPhone 14 display panels leaked online, revealing the suspected pill-shape and circular display cuts that would replace the conventional notch on this year’s new iPhone models to house the front-facing camera and Face ID technology.

In March, claimed iPhone 14 Pro 3D CAD renderings leaked, revealing the device’s reported redesigned pill-shape and circular display cutouts, which are likely to contain the iPhone’s Face ID components and front-facing camera module, eliminating the rectangular notch from the device’s display.

China’s restrictions stymie iPhone 14 development — Mobile World Live

According to the news agency, Apple’s iPhone 14 is being created by contract manufacturers Foxconn and Pegatron, with full production expected to begin in late August.

Nikkei Asia reported that engineering verification tests must be finished by the end of June in order to fulfill the manufacturing timetable and that one of the four iPhone 14 variants is three weeks behind schedule.

Due to the limitations, Pegatron paused manufacturing in its Shanghai and Kunshan plants earlier this year, while Foxconn halted operations at its Shenzhen factory.

Apple officials warned last month that supply concerns in China might affect sales by much to $8 billion in the current fiscal quarter.

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Luxury carmaker Maserati introduces convertible sportscar MC20 Cielo – Economic Times

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MODENA: Maserati‘s turnaround plan aims to liberate the Stellantis luxury brand from being a “slave to volumes” which has weighed on quality, its CEO Davide Grasso said on Wednesday, unveiling a convertible version of its MC20 sportscar.

Maserati, which returned to operating profit last year, delivered 24,200 cars in 2021 – 7,300 units more than in 2020. That still leaves it far from 2017’s peak, when it sold 51,500 cars.

“That was a success in terms of numbers, not necessarily for customers,” Grasso said, adding defect rates at Maserati were at that time higher than the average in luxury and premium markets.

“You enter a vicious circle of unsold cars and bigger and bigger discounts,” he said. “We were not good enough with quality, new powertrains, infotainment”.

Grasso said Maserati’s performance would keep improving this year and in 2023 in terms of market share, products, revenues and margins.

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The brand has recently unveiled its new Grecale SUV, which will be available in a full-electric (BEV) version in 2023. Next year Maserati will also introduce new versions of its Gran Turismo and Gran Cabrio models, and plans to make all its range electrified by 2025.

Agencies

Chief Commercial Officer Bernard Loire said sales could potentially top 30,000 units this year though it was not a target.

“It’s a projection based on our current performance,” he said.

Loire said China, Maserati’s second largest market after the United States, was being hit by an ongoing lockdown, but feedback from initial orders for Grecale were very positive.

“We see a much better second half,” he added.

He said Grecale would allow Maserati to compete in a segment, worth around 40% of the luxury market, where the brand has not been present so far.

Image - 2022-05-26T141424.363Agencies

With deliveries expected to start in the first quarter of 2023, the new retractable hardtop MC20 Cielo – ‘Sky’ in Italian – will contribute to Maserati’s sales only in 2023.

Fitted with a six-cylinder, three litre, 630 horsepower engine, for a top speed of over 320 km per hour, it will cost 260,000 euros ($277,000), 30,000 euros more than its coupe sister MC20. That’s higher than entry level models of Ferrari and Aston Martin.

Combined capacity for MC20 and MC20 Cielo, both produced in Modena, northern Italy, amount to about 1,400 units a year, with flexibility to adapt output between the two models.

Their BEV versions are expected by 2025.

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iPhone 14 production is "weeks" behind schedule thanks to the resumption of lockdowns in China – Notebookcheck.net

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Nikkei Asia

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