It looks like a fish. It swims like a fish. But it isn’t a fish. It’s SoFi, the robotic fish. Developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, SoFi is a soft-bodied robot that glides silently through the water with a smooth, undulating motion designed to mimic the movements of real fish. It is the first robotic fish to contend with the currents and pressures of an actual ocean setting for an extended period of time. “For us, this fish is magical,” said Daniela Rus, director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT, who led the work. “We imagine someday it might help us uncover more mysteries from the amazing underwater world that we know so little about.”

Coal burning, carbon emissions on rise

After three flat years that had hinted at a possible environmental breakthrough, carbon dioxide emissions from the use of energy rose again by 1.4 percent in 2017, said data released by the International Energy Agency. The increase in emissions of the all-important greenhouse gas came as global energy demand itself increased thanks to strong economic growth _ and that demand was sated by all types of energy, including renewables but also oil, coal and natural gas. “The growth in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2017 is a strong warning for global efforts to combat climate change, and demonstrates that current efforts are insufficient to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement,” the IEA said. The findings by the IEA matched a preliminary finding released late last year by a scientific group, the Global Carbon Project, which also reported that greenhouse gas emissions had risen in 2017 after three flat years.

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