Climate Change, Environment
Renaturing cities: good for health and the economy Would you enjoy a city full of parks, where streets were tree-lined, where cycling and walking were pleasant, a city with grass-insulated roofs on houses and public buildings to keep you warm in winter? According to a Eurobarometer study , there is an 84 per cent chance that your answer is yes.
Sexism also exists in botany Urban green spaces provide several benefits beyond aesthetics. They offer shade, help to reduce pollution, offer habitat for birds and insects, a space to meet and socialise or for kids to play.
Climate change: trees to the rescue Fighting climate change is the challenge of the century. The last UN Environment Emissions Gap Report warned that, in order to ensure global warming stays below 2°C, efforts should be tripled , and if we want to stay below 1.
Improving the imperfect: photosynthesis for the future Despite its splendour and beauty, nature is full of imperfections. Indeed, the process of natural selection relies upon minor errors in genetic duplication to produce new variants, better suited to a given environment.
Rooting sustainability starts on school benches Do young people know what a smart city is? Do they care about saving energy and preserving the Earth’s resources? “Rooting sustainability starts on the benches of schools,” affirmed UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova at the recent UN Climate Change Conference ( COP22 ) in Marrakech, Morocco.
Homes storing CO2, just like trees Domestic efforts play an important role in curbing global warming. Besides producing and using renewables, homes can also act as banks that store CO2 .
Cities: surviving floods and significant whims of the weather Part of the solution to counter the devastating effects of floods on human communities could be long-term climate forecasting, backed by assessments on the vulnerability of towns and cities As centres of innovation and growth, European cities are home to around 75% of the continent’s population and use about 80% of the energy it produces.
Bracing for summer thunderstorms With summertime and heat waves approaching, thunderstorms are becoming more frequent again. Recently several regions in Europe were hit by devastating thunderstorms along with strong winds, lightning strikes, hail and flash floods.
The cost of blackouts in Europe In January 2005, a severe storm swept across Northern Europe, from Ireland to Russia. More than 500,000 homes were left without power, with Denmark and Southern Sweden being particularly hard-hit.
Resilient seeds - Nurturing the future of agriculture For the first time in its history, the Global Seed Vault on the Svalbard Islands, Norway, has authorised a withdrawal. It was requested in 2015 by Syria, a country where the war is endangering the local agricultural seed collections.
The sun is shining… Let’s prepare for severe weather! As well as being a time for celebration, winter in Europe is a time for serious weather. Blizzards, flash floods, hurricanes, heavy snow fall can cause chaos, major disruption, economic loss, and endanger lives.
Preventing a Fukushima disaster in Europe In 2005, Europe was exposed to a potential risk of a nuclear disaster caused by the flooding of the Loviisa nuclear power plant in Finland . Sea levels rose by 1.73 meter above normal levels, due to a storm.