The Obtain: hydropower’s rocky path forward, and reverse falling delivery charges

That is right this moment’s version of The Obtain, our weekday publication that gives a day by day dose of what’s occurring on the planet of know-how.

Emissions hit a report excessive in 2023. Blame hydropower.

Hydropower is likely one of the world’s largest sources of renewable electrical energy.

However final 12 months, climate situations induced hydropower to fall brief in a significant manner, with technology dropping by a report quantity. The truth is, the lower was vital sufficient to have a measurable impact on international emissions. 

Whole energy-related emissions rose by simply over 1% in 2023, and a shortfall of hydroelectric energy accounts for 40% of that rise, in accordance with a brand new report from the Worldwide Power Company.

Between year-to-year climate variability and local weather change, there may very well be rocky occasions forward for hydropower. Right here’s what we are able to anticipate from the facility supply and what it’d imply for local weather objectives. Learn the total story.

—Casey Crownhart

This story is from The Spark, our weekly local weather and vitality publication. Join to obtain it in your inbox each Wednesday.

How reproductive know-how can reverse inhabitants decline

Again in October, we held a subscriber-only unique Roundtables dialogue on how improvements from the lab may have an effect on the way forward for households. Antonio Regalado, our biotechnology editor, sat down with entrepreneur Martín Varsavsky, founding father of fertility clinic Prelude Fertility, to discover the reason for plummeting delivery charges worldwide, and way more.

Should you missed it the primary time spherical, subscribers can watch a recording of the dialogue right here—and when you’re not already a subscriber, why not grow to be one?

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to seek out you right this moment’s most enjoyable/vital/scary/fascinating tales about know-how.

1 Microsoft’s AI picture generator may pose a hazard to society 
A minimum of, that’s what an engineer on the firm has alleged. (CNBC)
+ He claims that Microsoft by no means responded to his warnings. (Ars Technica)
+ Textual content-to-image AI fashions will be tricked into producing disturbing photographs. (MIT Know-how Evaluate)

2 The EU is investigating why Apple kicked Epic Video games from its App Retailer
Epic likened the transfer to a “feudal lord mounting the skulls of their former enemies on their fort partitions.” (FT $)
+ The EU will decide whether or not Apple has damaged the legislation. (Bloomberg $)

three SpaceX is planning one other Starship launch for subsequent week
Regulatory approval remains to be pending, although. (TechCrunch)
+ Russia’s major rocket is wanting fairly previous as of late. (Ars Technica)
+ Future satellites may very well be launched into house courtesy of big balloons. (Economist $)

four We’re witnessing the delivery of the AI gadget period
The place software program leads, {hardware} will observe. (The Atlantic $)
+ It seems AI fashions are higher prompters than people. (IEEE Spectrum)
+ Meet the jobseekers making an attempt to outwit AI interviewers. (The Guardian)

5 The US workplace that oversees AI is falling aside
Employees are contending with black mildew and leaks alongside the strain to maintain the nation protected. (WP $)

6 Microsoft’s Bing search engine is flourishing in China
By kotowing to Beijing’s calls for that it sanitizes its outcomes. (Bloomberg $)
+ A Google engineer has been indicted over allegedly stealing commerce secrets and techniques for China. (The Verge)

7 A German man acquired 217 covid jabs in two and a half years
And he’s completely wonderful. (Wired $)
+ The findings recommend that overexposure to vaccines might not have an effect on immune response. (The Atlantic $)
+ Scientists are discovering indicators of lengthy covid in blood. (MIT Know-how Evaluate)

eight Inside China’s rising psychedelic scene  
The nation’s pervasive surveillance system is mirrored in drug-induced visions. (Vox)
+ Thoughts-altering substances are being overhyped as surprise medication. (MIT Know-how Evaluate)

9 It’s time to ditch your pockets for good
Gen Z pays on their smartphones. (NYT $)
+ A phrase to the smart: by no means ask a youngster how previous they assume you might be. (Vox)

10 Pace relationship is making a significant comeback
Courting app fatigue is actual, and IRL matchmaking is having a renaissance. (WP $)
+ Right here’s how the online’s latest matchmakers assist you to discover love. (MIT Know-how Evaluate)

Quote of the day

“Opened TikTok to a video of Mark Wahlberg asking me to hope with him… and I can’t consider a factor I need to do much less, really.”

—X consumer Brandi Howard makes her emotions about Wallberg’s pay-to-pray app Hallow clear, the New York Occasions stories. 

The large story

This gasoline plant will use agricultural waste to fight local weather change

February 2022

A startup known as Mote plans to construct a brand new kind of fuel-producing plant in California’s fertile Central Valley that might, if it really works as hoped, regularly seize and bury carbon dioxide, ranging from 2024. 

It’s amongst a rising variety of efforts to commercialize an idea first proposed twenty years in the past as a way of combating local weather change, often known as bioenergy with carbon seize and sequestration, or BECCS.

It’s an formidable plan. Nevertheless, there are critical challenges to doing BECCS affordably and in ways in which reliably suck down vital ranges of carbon dioxide. Learn the total story.

—James Temple

We are able to nonetheless have good issues

A spot for consolation, enjoyable and distraction to brighten up your day. (Acquired any concepts? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)

+ That’s one significantly sensible pooch.
+ Yum—Polish meals is having a second within the highlight.
+ Should you’ve ever harbored a sneaking suspicion that main authors’ plots are sort of the identical, you’re not alone.
+ This hyper-realistic portrait tattoo of Jake Gyllenhaal is unbelievable.

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