Italy, Environment
Bioplastics: use and misuse
Bioplastics: use and misuse When dealing with bioplastics, definitions like “biobased”, “biodegradable” and “compostable” can generate confusion among consumers : this affects the way these materials are dealt with after use, resulting in a problematic waste management process.
Intelligence in the abyss
Intelligence in the abyss Would you dive into a body of water populated by about 150 robots? That’s what could happen if you were to fall off a “gondola” in the Venice lagoon, where scientists from an initiative of seven European research institutes, are giving birth to the world’s largest population of autonomous robots .
Robots in distress in the Venetian Lagoon
Robots in distress in the Venetian Lagoon Can mathematics be expressed poetically through computational technologies? Visual artists Vicky Isley and Paul Smith believe it can be and are collaborating with the Artificial Life Lab of the University of Graz, in Austria, on the Subcultron project (Submarine Cultures Perform Long-Term Exploration of Unconventional Environmental Niches).
Cities: surviving floods and significant whims of the weather
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.
Italian cities: not only beautiful, now they want to be smart
Italian cities: not only beautiful, now they want to be smart Italy is famous all over the world for its historical cities, but their beauty is not enough anymore. They want to be smart. Two of the experimental forerunners developing energy efficiency measures are Udine and Salerno .
High-tech and low-cost solutions to handle urban waste
High-tech and low-cost solutions to handle urban waste Low-cost interventions, big data analysis and new regulations on landfills are key factors for the smart management of waste in cities.
Fashion “detox” catwalks - Towards sustainable textile production
Fashion “detox” catwalks - Towards sustainable textile production When you see a beautiful shirt on a fashion model or in a shop window, you ask yourself: shall I buy it? Can I afford it? But before deciding, there is another question to be answered : How much damage ...
The cost of blackouts in Europe
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
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!
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.
Biomass: a green source of energy?
Biomass: a green source of energy? Bioenergy represents two-thirds of the energy produced from renewable sources in Europe, though biomass sustainability is not taken for granted.
Italy, Vajont “tsunami” and Malborghetto-Valbruna floods: such different lessons from the past
Italy, Vajont “tsunami” and Malborghetto-Valbruna floods: such different lessons from the past Luckily, past mistakes can sometimes be useful for present or especially future decisions. This can apply to spatial planning and management in response to natural disasters and extreme weather events.
Alan O’Connor - Taming nature’s wild character
Alan O’Connor - Taming nature’s wild character Flash floods in Central Europe in 2002 damaged hundreds of roads, caused electricity failures, contaminated clean water and cost an estimated €150 billion in damage .
Ridding the sea and land from toxic plastics fragments
Ridding the sea and land from toxic plastics fragments Plastic products made of PVC, Polystyrene and other prominent plastics are flooding the market. They are a growing threat to the environment, as they are found in the sea or dumped in land fills .
Andrea Vitaletti - Talking plants…science fiction?
Andrea Vitaletti - Talking plants…science fiction? Plants, like almost all living organisms, have an internal communication system to respond to external stimuli. Whether they are exposed to sunlight, pollutants, nutrients or pests, plants react with a tell-tale electrical signal.
The case for low methane-emitting cattle
The case for low methane-emitting cattle You may think that climate change is being caused by burning oil, coal and gas. But not so fast! The emission of methane from cattle is a surprisingly important factor .
Is desertification on the increase?
Is desertification on the increase? News of increased desertification has made headlines. Yet this process is not well understood.
Juggling with multiple risks
Juggling with multiple risks Multiple disasters can have a cumulative impact leading to great human and financial loss. The awareness of all possible risks is of fundamental importance.
Closing the water cycle
Closing the water cycle Clean freshwater faces various threats such as increasing demand by population growth, pollution and changes in the hydrological cycle due to climate change.
Acoustic waves warn of tsunami
Acoustic waves warn of tsunami When a coastal area is about to be hit by the waves of a tsunami, time is everything. The earlier we know where and when it is going to hit the coast, the more chances there are to evacuate the area.
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