Arquivo da tag: Monitoramento

NOAA Acknowledges the New Reality of Hurricane Season (Gizmodo)

Molly Taft, March 2, 2021

This combination of satellite images provided by the National Hurricane Center shows 30 hurricanes that occurred during the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.
This combination of satellite images provided by the National Hurricane Center shows 30 hurricanes that occurred during the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.

We’re one step closer to officially moving up hurricane season. The National Hurricane Center announced Tuesday that it would formally start issuing its hurricane season tropical weather outlooks on May 15 this year, bumping it up from the traditional start of hurricane season on June 1. The move comes after a recent spate of early season storms have raked the Atlantic.

Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. That’s when conditions are most conducive to storm formation owing to warm air and water temperatures. (The Pacific ocean has its own hurricane season, which covers the same timeframe, but since waters are colder fewer hurricanes tend to form there than in the Atlantic.)

Storms have begun forming on the Atlantic earlier as ocean and air temperatures have increased due to climate change. Last year, Hurricane Arthur roared to life off the East Coast on May 16. That storm made 2020 the sixth hurricane season in a row to have a storm that formed earlier than the June 1 official start date. While the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration won’t be moving up the start of the season just yet, the earlier outlooks addresses the recent history.

“In the last decade, there have been 10 storms formed in the weeks before the traditional start of the season, which is a big jump,” said Sean Sublette, a meteorologist at Climate Central, who pointed out that the 1960s through 2010s saw between one and three storms each decade before the June 1 start date on average.

It might be tempting to ascribe this earlier season entirely to climate change warming the Atlantic. But technology also has a role to play, with more observations along the coast as well as satellites that can spot storms far out to sea.

“I would caution that we can’t just go, ‘hah, the planet’s warming, we’ve had to move the entire season!’” Sublette said. “I don’t think there’s solid ground for attribution of how much of one there is over the other. Weather folks can sit around and debate that for awhile.”

Earlier storms don’t necessarily mean more harmful ones, either. In fact, hurricanes earlier in the season tend to be weaker than the monsters that form in August and September when hurricane season is at its peak. But regardless of their strength, these earlier storms have generated discussion inside the NHC on whether to move up the official start date for the season, when the agency usually puts out two reports per day on hurricane activity. Tuesday’s step is not an official announcement of this decision, but an acknowledgement of the increased attention on early hurricanes.

“I would say that [Tuesday’s announcement] is the National Hurricane Center being proactive,” Sublette said. “Like hey, we know that the last few years it’s been a little busier in May than we’ve seen in the past five decades, and we know there is an awareness now, so we’re going to start issuing these reports early.”

While the jury is still out on whether climate change is pushing the season earlier, research has shown that the strongest hurricanes are becoming more common, and that climate change is likely playing a role. A study published last year found the odds of a storm becoming a major hurricanes—those Category 3 or stronger—have increase 49% in the basin since satellite monitoring began in earnest four decades ago. And when storms make landfall, sea level rise allows them to do more damage. So regardless of if climate change is pushing Atlantic hurricane season is getting earlier or not, the risks are increasing. Now, at least, we’ll have better warnings before early storms do hit.

IBM will no longer offer, develop, or research facial recognition technology (The Verge)

IBM’s CEO says we should reevaluate selling the technology to law enforcement

By Jay Peters Jun 8, 2020, 8:49pm EDT

Original article

IBM will no longer offer general purpose facial recognition or analysis software, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said in a letter to Congress today. The company will also no longer develop or research the technology, IBM tells The Verge. Krishna addressed the letter to Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Reps. Karen Bass (D-CA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).

“IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any [facial recognition] technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms, or any purpose which is not consistent with our values and Principles of Trust and Transparency,” Krishna said in the letter. “We believe now is the time to begin a national dialogue on whether and how facial recognition technology should be employed by domestic law enforcement agencies.” Facial recognition software has come under scrutiny for issues with racial bias and privacy concerns

Facial recognition software has improved greatly over the last decade thanks to advances in artificial intelligence. At the same time, the technology — because it is often provided by private companies with little regulation or federal oversight — has been shown to suffer from bias along lines of age, race, and ethnicity, which can make the tools unreliable for law enforcement and security and ripe for potential civil rights abuses.

In 2018, research by Joy Buolamwini and Timnit Gebru revealed for the first time the extent to which many commercial facial recognition systems (including IBM’s) were biased. This work and the pair’s subsequent studies led to mainstream criticism of these algorithms and ongoing attempts to rectify bias.

A December 2019 National Institute of Standards and Technology study found “empirical evidence for the existence of a wide range of accuracy across demographic differences in the majority of the current face recognition algorithms that were evaluated,” for example. The technology has also come under fire for its role in privacy violations.

Notably, NIST’s study did not include technology from Amazon, which is one of the few major tech companies to sell facial recognition software to law enforcement. Yet Rekognition, the name of the program, has also been criticized for its accuracy. In 2018, the American Civil Liberties Union found that Rekognition incorrectly matched 28 members of Congress to faces picked from 25,000 public mugshots, for example.

Another company, Clearview AI, has come under heavy scrutiny starting earlier this year when it was discovered that its facial recognition tool, built with more than 3 billion images compiled in part from scraping social media sites, was being widely used by private sector companies and law enforcement agencies. Clearview has since been issued numerous cease and desist orders and is at the center of a number of privacy lawsuits. Facebook was also ordered in January to pay $550 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over its unlawful use of facial recognition technology.

IBM has tried to help with the issue of bias in facial recognition, releasing a public data set in 2018 designed to help reduce bias as part of the training data for a facial recognition model. But IBM was also found to be sharing a separate training data set of nearly one million photos in January 2019 taken from Flickr without the consent of the subjects — though the photos were shared under a Creative Commons license. IBM told The Verge in a statement at the time that the data set would only be accessed by verified researchers and only included images that were publicly available. The company also said that individuals can opt-out of the data set.

In his letter, Krishna also advocated for police reform, arguing that more police misconduct cases should be put under the purview of federal court and that Congress should make changes to qualified immunity doctrine, among other measures. In addition, Krishna said that “we need to create more open and equitable pathways for all Americans to acquire marketable skills and training,” and he suggested Congress consider scaling the P-TECH school model nationally and expanding eligibility for Pell Grants.

Update, June 9th, 2:45AM ET: This story has been updated to reference the work of AI researchers Joy Buolamwini and Timnit Gebru, whose 2018 Gender Shades project provided the first comprehensive empirical data on bias in facial recognition systems.

CPTEC/INPE desenvolve novo conceito de sistema de previsão, monitoramento e de alertas para ondas e ressacas (CPTEC)

Atualizado em 15/05/2014 13:54

Sistema também pode ser utilizado para avaliar impactos ambientais em regiões costeiras

O grupo do CPTEC/INPE dedicado à previsão de agitação marítima lançou há dois anos em sua página de previsão de ondas a primeira fase do Sistema de Previsão e Monitoramento Costeiro (SIMCos) para 61 pontos da costa brasileira (link no canto superior direito da página A segunda fase deste projeto foi concluída recentemente, colocando em operação um sistema de avaliação de impactos de ondas e marés, de alta resolução, para um daqueles 61 pontos do litoral brasileiro: a Baia de Vitória, no Espírito Santo. Esta região do litoral capixaba foi escolhida como área teste para avaliar o funcionamento completo do SIMCos (Sistema de Previsão e Monitoramento Costeiro), concebido para disparar um segundo sistema, como este voltado à Baia de Vitória, quando houver previsões de ondas ultrapassando limites que envolvam riscos ambientais e às atividades na costa.

O SIMCos, projeto temático da FAPESP, gera previsões diárias de ondas, indicando situações de risco ao comparar os níveis de ondas de cada um dos cerca de 60 pontos da costa brasileira a uma climatologia de 30 anos (condições atmosféricas de resolução espacial de 0,3 grau e temporal de 1 hora) da agitação marítima destes mesmos pontos. Para a baía capixaba, que abrange a ilha de Vitória, região metropolitana e os portos de Tubarão e Vitória, foram desenvolvidos modelos com o objetivo de monitorar e avaliar os possíveis impactos, através de simulações numéricas de ondas, de circulação, das marés astronômicas e meteorológicas, com alta resolução temporal e espacial, e capaz, se necessário, de emitir alertas de ressacas.

A plataforma do SIMCos foi composta pelo modelo WWATCH, do NCEP/NOAA, cujas previsões são rodadas em um computador de 120 processadores, obtido exclusivamente para o projeto. Segundo o pesquisador responsável pelo desenvolvimento do SIMCos, Valdir Innocentini, os 61 pontos de previsão e monitoramento ao longo da costa brasileira estão distantes entre si de 100 a 200 quilômetros, e se situam sobre uma linha de profundidade de 100 metros, aproximadamente, para que os efeitos do relevo oceânico não interfiram muito nas características das ondas. Já para o sistema desenvolvido para o litoral capixaba, foi utilizado o modelo holandês de circulação costeira e marés DELFT3D, com condições atmosféricas simuladas pelo modelo WRF (Weather Research Forecasting Model), dos Estados Unidos, e condições iniciais e de contorno hidrodinâmicas do modelo francês global Mercator.

O sistema implementado na Baía de Vitória permite simular e avaliar impactos relacionados à vazão de rios, circulação e interação de água doce e oceânica, erosão, dispersão e transporte de sedimentos e poluentes (como manchas de petróleo), entre outras aplicações. Também simula os efeitos das marés para obras de dragagem, construção de obras civis, como ampliação de portos, prevendo áreas de assoreamento e de possíveis danos ambientais. O desenvolvimento deste módulo do SIMCos contou com a cooperação da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo (UFES) e Universidade Nacional Autonoma do México (UNAM).

Segundo Innocentini, o desenvolvimento do SIMCos, alcançou seu objetivo, que era viabilizar um conceito de sistema de alerta, com potencial para ser lançado operacionalmente cobrindo toda a costa brasileira. Para implementar o sistema completo, o pesquisador do CPTEC/INPE explica que seria necessário um novo projeto que permitisse colocar em operação os modelos de alta resolução para cada uma das regiões associadas aos 60 pontos restantes do SIMCos. Para tal empreitada, seria preciso desenhar a grade do relevo submerso de cada uma destas regiões costeiras, com base na batimetria destas áreas.

O desenvolvimento destes modelos de maior resolução – melhor precisão e refinamento para boa parte da costa brasileira – permitiria a simulação de impactos dos movimentos de marés e ressacas nas diferentes atividades econômicas costeiras, como extração de petróleo, turismo e náutica. Os modelos também teriam aplicações em pesquisas ambientais, com possíveis aplicações na área de mudanças climáticas, além de atuarem como uma poderosa ferramenta de monitoramento ambiental capaz de oferecer subsídios a ações fiscais na costa e à formulação de políticas ambientais.


Kinsey Reporter: Free App Allows Public to Anonymously Report, Share Information On Sexual Behavior (Science Daily)

ScienceDaily (Sep. 5, 2012) — Indiana University has released Kinsey Reporter, a global mobile survey platform for collecting and reporting anonymous data about sexual and other intimate behaviors. The pilot project allows citizen observers around the world to use free applications now available for Apple and Android mobile platforms to not only report on sexual behavior and experiences, but also to share, explore and visualize the accumulated data.

The Kinsey Reporter platform is available free from Apple iOS and Google Play (for Android) online stores. Reports made by anonymous citizen scientists will be used for research and shared with the public at the Kinsey Reporter website. (Credit: Image courtesy of Indiana University)

“People are natural observers. It’s part of being social, and using mobile apps is an excellent way to involve citizen scientists,” said Julia Heiman, director of The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction. “We expect to get new insights into sexuality and relationships today. What do people notice, what are they involved in, and what can they relate to us about their lives and their communities?”

The project will collect anonymous data and then aggregate and share it openly. Kinsey Reporter is a joint project between The Kinsey Institute and the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research, or CNetS, which is part of the IU School of Informatics and Computing and the Pervasive Technology Institute. Both Kinsey and CNetS are based on the IU Bloomington campus.

CNetS director Filippo Menczer called development of the citizen reporting platform an opportunity to gather information on important issues that may have been difficult to examine in the past.

“This new platform will allow us to explore issues that have been challenging to study until now, such as the prevalence of unreported sexual violence in different parts of the world, or the correlation between various sexual practices like condom use, for example, and the cultural, political, religious or health contexts in particular geographical areas. These were some of our initial motivations for the project,” he said.

Users simply download the free app and begin contributing observed information on topics such as sexual activity, public displays of affection, flirting, unwanted experiences and birth control use. Even though no information identifying users submitting reports is collected or stored, the time and general location of the report is collected and input into the database. Users also have the option of selecting their own geographic preference for the report by choosing city/town, state/region or country.

Surveys will change over time, and users can view aggregated reports by geographic region via interactive maps, timelines or charts. All of these reporting venues can be manipulated with filters that remove or add data based on specific survey topics and questions selected by the user.

Both Heiman and Menczer said The Kinsey Institute’s longstanding seminal studies of sexual behaviors created a perfect synergy with research going on at CNetS related to mining big data crowd-sourced from mobile social media. The sensitive domain — sexual relations — added an intriguing challenge in finding a way to share useful data with the community while protecting the privacy and anonymity of the reporting volunteers, they added.

Reports are transmitted to Kinsey Reporter using a secure, encrypted protocol, and the only data collected are a timestamp, the approximate geo-location selected by the user, and the tags the user chooses in response to various survey questions. The protections and anonymity provided to those responding to surveys allowed IU’s Institutional Review Board to classify the research as “exempt from review,” which allows the data to be used for research and shared without requiring informed consent from users of the apps.

The Kinsey Reporter platform is now in public beta release. Apps are available for free download at both the Apple iOS and Android app stores. Accompanying the app release are a Kinsey Reporter website, a Twitter feed and a Facebook page. The four resources also provide links to information about sexuality, such as blogs and podcasts from the Kinsey Confidential website. YouTube videos on “What Is the Kinsey Reporter App” and “Making the Kinsey Reporter App” are also available for viewing.

The Kinsey Institute receives support from the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at IU Bloomington, which is dedicated to supporting ongoing faculty research and creative activity and developing new multidisciplinary initiatives to enhance opportunities for federal, state and private research funding.