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May 21, 2021 10 mins

In this Radio AI Episode 3.4, Dr. Emily Ury, an ecologist from Duke University, is haunted by ghost forests.   Using big rubber waders, insect protection and AI, Dr. Ury  and a team of ecologists   investigate these ghost forests  using AI to go back through time and space to find the patterns and extent of ghost forests.   Dead trees with pale trunks, devoid of leaves and limbs are the tell tale sign of saltwater.   Scientists call them "Ghost forests."   Emily hits the coastal trail in her waders and insect protection in North Carolina's Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, near the Outer banks where she slogs knee deep on a section of trail that is completely and permanently now underwater.   She saw evidence of forest die off everywhere so she sent up a drone.   But drone data wouldn't cut it, so they went to the sky.   The ghost forests are so big they can be seen from space.   Dr. Ury and her team used NASA and Google Earth's satellite data with AI to find out pattern of ghost forests extend all along the coast - from Main to Florida.  Using AI to find patterns over time and space it was possible to see the spike in North Carolina happened when there was a triple whammy - drought, then fire, then a hurricane, along North Carolina's coast.   Dr. Ury said their results could be a warning for coastal areas around the world.     Join RADIO AI special guest Dr. Ury as she walks us through her very special use of AI and remote sensing data to hunt for ghost forests.

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