Global warming is melting ice faster, CEOs team up for climate change, facial recognition technology is banned in one US city and snakebite vaccinations receive new funding. Our round-up of provoking thoughts, penetrating insights and digital curiosities….
According to The Guardian ice sheets in the Antarctic are melting five times faster than in the 1990s. The impact of global warming is spreading deep into the West Antarctic ice sheet, with more than 100 metres of ice thickness lost in some places. But reportedly, new satellite analysis will allow more accurate projections, which could help prepare better for rising sea levels.
Meanwhile, Forbes reports that the chief executives of 13 large companies have teamed up with environmental groups to form the CEO Climate Dialogue, calling on US Congress to pass legislation addressing climate change.
Are driverless delivery vehicles the future? One has started making its rounds on public roads in Sweden in what its developer has said is a world first, Reuters reports. This could be the first step in driverless vehicles operating at a commercial level.
Big Brother is no longer watching, at least not in San Francisco. The US city has banned the use of facial recognition technology for surveillance by the police and local government agencies, the first city-wide ban in the country.
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The BBC reports that the ruling also prevents the use of any new digital surveillance tools unless approved by city administrators. Those in favour of the technology say it is helpful in fighting crime while opponents believe it is unreliable and infringes privacy.
The world’s “biggest hidden health crisis” – perhaps surprisingly, being bitten by a venomous snake – is set to receive £80m in research funding from the Wellcome Trust, according to Sky News.
Around 5.4m people are bitten by venomous snakes each year with 400,000 suffering life-changing injuries such as paralysis and amputations, and up 138,000 people are killed. The way that anti-venom is produced has not changed since the 19th century, and the global health foundation programme aims to make anti-venoms better, safer and cheaper.