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By Mid-Century, Heat Waves Could Cover Far Bigger Areas

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Oct. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Climate change could trigger much bigger heat waves by mid-century, U.S. researchers report.

Previous research has predicted that the number and intensity of heat waves will increase, but this study is the first to examine changes in their potential physical size.

“As the physical size of these affected regions increases, more people will be exposed to heat stress,” said lead author Brad Lyon, an associate research professor at the University of Maine in Orono.

“Larger heat waves would also increase electrical loads and peak energy demand on the grid as more people and businesses turn on air conditioning in response,” he added.

The statistics are alarming.

With medium greenhouse gas emission levels, the average size of heat waves could grow 50% by mid-century, according to the study. With high emission levels, their average size could increase 80%, and more extreme heat waves could more than double in size, it predicted.

The study, published Oct. 7 in the journal Environmental Research Letters, was partly funded by the Climate Observations and Monitoring Program of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Program Office.

Predictions about the growing size of heat waves could help utilities plan for the future, according to the researchers.

“Heat wave size is another dimension of extreme heat that people don’t necessarily think of,” Lyon said in a NOAA news release. “It’s a different vantage point from which to view them and assess their impacts.”

The study also found that the length and severity of heat waves could increase substantially, which came as no surprise to the researchers.

“An increase in attributes like magnitude and duration is consistent with expectations of a warming climate,” Lyon said. “What is new in our study is the way we calculated them, which allowed us to consider size as a new heat wave dimension.”

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SOURCE: U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, news release, Oct. 7, 2019

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Academy Investigating 9 Sci-Tech Areas for 2019

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that nine distinct scientific and technical investigations have been launched for 2019. These investigations are made public so that individuals and companies with devices or claims of innovation within these areas will have the opportunity to submit achievements for review in consideration for the Scientific and Technical Awards.

The Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards Committee has started investigations into the following areas:

  • Professional desktop monitors with self-calibration
  • Head-mounted facial acquisition systems
  • Wireless video transmission systems used in motion-picture production
  • Frameworks enabling high-performance ray-geometry intersections
  • Hair simulation toolsets
  • Audio repair and restoration software for motion pictures
  • Automatic dialog post-synchronization systems
  • Costume, prop, hair and makeup tracking and inventory communication tools for physical production
  • Post-production tracking and scheduling systems

“The science and technology of filmmaking is constantly evolving and advancing. Each year, the Academy researches technology that has had a significant impact on the motion picture arts. This year, we are examining a distinct group of technologies, which includes hair simulation, facial capture and audio repair,” said Doug Roble, chair of the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee. “The current awards cycle will commence with a series of exhaustive investigations, conducted by a committee made up of industry experts with a diversity of expertise, and culminate with the Scientific and Technical Awards ceremony in June.”

The deadline to submit additional entries is Tuesday, September 17, at 5 p.m. PT. For more information on the Scientific and Technical Awards or to submit a similar technology, click here.

After thorough investigations are conducted in each of the technology categories, the committee will meet in the spring to vote on recommendations to the Academy’s Board of Governors, which will make the final awards decisions.

The Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation will be held on Saturday, June 20, 2020.

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