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Science

What Is the Actual Science Behind Blockchain?

By now you may have heard about the term “Blockchain” probably with people relating it to Bitcoins. But it is not easy to understand the science behind blockchain, the technology it employs, and how it actually works.

What Is Blockchain Technology?

This is a structure that stores records and information (known as blocks) in several databases (known as a chain) in a network that is connected through peer-to-peer nodes. This storage is called the “digital ledger

Each transaction is authorized by the owner’s digital signature, which validates the transaction and cannot further be tampered with in the system.

How Does Blockchain Work?

Many businesses are now integrating Blockchain technology in their transactions. But how does it work?

Blockchain involves three technological combinations:

  • Cryptographic keys
  • Computing means
  • Peer-to-peer networking with a shared ledger

Cryptographic keys

Cryptographic keys consist of private and public keys. Both these keys are crucial for any successful transaction between the two parties. Each party has the keys that let them produce a valid digital identity reference (digital signatures in blockchain case). They are used for the authorization and management of any transaction.

Peer-to-peer network

The cryptographic keys are merged with the peer-to-peer network; individuals that work as authorities use digital signatures to reach an agreement on the transactions. When they authorize a deal, it gets validated by mathematical verification, and therefore a successful transaction.

Transaction Process

One key feature that makes Blockchain technology successful is that it supports transactions.

The transaction takes place when two parties wish to conduct a transaction using private and public keys. The first party attaches the information about the transaction of the public key of the second party. The information is then gathered into a block.

The block consists of a digital signature, timestamp, and other relevant details that will make the transaction successful.

The block does not include the identities of both parties.

This block is transmitted across the network nodes, and when the right individual applies their private key and matches it with the block, the transaction takes place successfully.

Nodes

A blockchain network consists of several systems of nodes that are connected to the network, with no interference from the third party. A node could be a computer or a small server that stores the whole information of transactions over the network. The nodes are linked together by a software protocol that controls the blockchain network.

Miners

These are nodes that perform more complicated functions towards authenticating any transaction. While all miners are nodes, vice versa is not true.

If you would wish to join the blockchain network as a miner you will have to create an account in a platform that offers access to the network and have complex skills in specific computer software and programming. After this, you may take part in validating the transactions.

Conclusion

Blockchain is a wide topic that requires you to invest your time and effort to understand how it works. With the world slowly shifting to cryptocurrencies, the young technology will soon be a giant in transactions and in our lives.

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Science

Redwood Trees In Northern California Cities

Redwood trees are among the world’s largest and tallest trees. There are only three redwood tree species globally, and California is home to two; Sequoia and Sequoiadendron. The northern California cities have 31 redwood state and national parks. There are three trees that you can drive through: the Shrine tree, the Chandelier Tree, and the Klamath tree. Here are the best places you can explore the beautiful redwoods in Nothern California cities.

Redwood National and State Parks

It is located in the northmost coastal region of California and has four parks. The hiking trails in the Redwood and State Parks will give you beautiful views of the towering trees.

Among the many highlights is the Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail, which penetrates through the redwood groves, 2.4 kilometers towards the spot where Lady Bird Johnson dedicated the Redwood National Park in 1968.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Located 105 kilometers south of San Fransisco, the Big Basi Redwoods State Park is the oldest in California (since 1902) and has more than 128 km of trails that meander through the coastal redwood forest. There are several waterfalls and camping parks in this park that covers more than 7,200 hectares.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

On the Southeast of Big Basin is the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park with 24 kilometers of hiking trails. You can go on a self-guided walk on a trail with 91-meter91 meter tall redwoods or join the guided walks on weekends.

Muir Woods National Monument

Located just 20 kilometers north of San Fransisco, the Muir Woods National Monument is the most visited redwood park due to its accessibility. Although it is among the smallest redwood parks, it has some of the most exciting hiking trails with varying difficulties. If you plan to go to a camp, be there early to beat the crowds for a pleasant camping space.

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Located approximately more than 370 kilometers north of San Fransisco, the Humboldt Redwoods State Park is mostly famous for the Avenue of the Giants. This stunning highway has three redwoods you can drive through! It is also home to the world.s largest remaining continuous old-growth forest, the Rockefeller forest.

Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve

Montgomery features redwoods standing more than 100 meters tall. It is one of the remote California redwood parks, covering a small area. One of the most towering redwoods can be found here, with more than 106 feet tall. Montgomery has very few kilometers of the trail due to the small size but remains less crowded than other redwood parks.

Tree Removal Services In Hayward, California

Before removing a tree or pruning it, you need permission from the City. The consent is required before:

  • Pruning branches over one inch in diameter or removing any tree that has been featured in the approved landscape plan.
  • Some trees are protected. These trees are in any developed property, memorial trees, those planted as replacements, specific native species, and trees that are eight inches in diameter.

Learn more about tree removal in Hayward.

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Science

Why are California wildfires getting worse?

California wildfires are not close to being over yet. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire protection, more than two million acres have burned across the state so far in 2020, surpassing the 2018 record.

High temperatures and strong winds have made the situation even worse. Death Valley recently reached 130 degrees, which would be recorded as the highest temperature ever recorded on the planet.

Residents have to weigh the risks involved in seeking refuge in evacuation shelters amidst this coronavirus pandemic while those living beyond the burn zone are struggling with smoke.

Here are some of the reasons why California wildfires are getting worse;

Climate

The ever-changing California’s climate had made wildfire worse. As long as stuff is dry enough and there is a spark, then it burns out.

California gets most of its moisture in the fall and winter. The vegetation slowly dries out during summer due to a lack of rainfall and warmer temperatures. Hence this vegetation serves as kindling for fires.

The relationship between climate change and bigger fires is inseparable. Warmer temperatures dry out fuels. In areas with abundant and very dry fuels, all you need is just a spark.

People

Although all the conditions may be right for wildfire, there has to be someone to ignite it. Although nature may trigger the fires like the unusual lightning strike that set off the LNU Lightning Complex fires in August, humans are responsible most of the time.

Downed power lines have been known to start many deadly fires. Some bad decisions start other fires. For instance, a fire was ignited by smoke-generating fireworks at a gender reveal party, which consumed thousands of acres east of Los Angeles.

People also contribute to wildfires in their choices of where they live.  Urban- wildland migration has increased as people increasingly moving into areas near the forest that are inclined to burn.

Fire suppression

It’s contradictory, but the United States’ history of suppressing wildfires has made them worse. Over the last century, we fought fires pretty well, and every fire fought successfully meant a bunch of stuff that would have burnt didn’t. Hence, over the last one hundred years, there has been an accumulation of plants in many areas.

In California, when the fire starts, it burns through places that have a lot more to burn than they would have if we had been allowing the fires to burn over the last hundred years.

However, in recent years the United States Forest Service has been trying to rectify the previous practice by using prescribed or ‘controlled’ burns.

The Santa Ana winds

California has two distinct fire seasons. One season starts from June to September and includes both warmer and drier weather.  Those wildfires are more inland and in higher elevation forests.

 The second fire season runs from October through April is driven by Santa Ana winds. These fires tend to spread faster and burn closer to urban areas. Santa Ana winds are responsible for 80% of economic losses over two decades since 1990.

Conclusion

There is no silver- bullet solution to California wildfires folded into them, but the main answer is climate change. The world needs to substantially reduce emissions and eventually go to an entirely renewable energy system. Being carbon-free is the ultimate end goal, and the sooner we reach there, the better it will be for nature and people.