United Kingdom, Climate Change
Improving the imperfect: photosynthesis for the future
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.
Climate change threatens some of the world’s best wines
Climate change threatens some of the world’s best wines Millions of people across Europe have enjoyed soaring temperatures in the summer of 2017 , with sizzling barbeques, good food, and fine wine.
Green energy and politics: crowdfunding to the rescue?
Green energy and politics: crowdfunding to the rescue? The  Paris climate change pact , which  entered into force  last year, was announced with a huge fanfare. The deal aims to limit the rise in average global temperatures to “well below” two degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
Money-saving small wind turbines: myth or reality?
Money-saving small wind turbines: myth or reality? Getting clean energy through your own turbine without relying on a central grid sounds great, but with subsidies being cut across Europe, is it too good to be true? Those with plenty of experience with wind turbines are quick to concede the financial challenges of this green technology.
Rooting sustainability starts on school benches
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
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
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.
Gauging public opinion on small wind turbines
Gauging public opinion on small wind turbines Recent studies suggest that around 70 to 80 percent of people in Europe support wind farms, although there are still concerns around noise and aesthetics.
Bracing for summer thunderstorms
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.
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.
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 .
To be or not to be green
To be or not to be green What happens to research findings once the researchers have gone away? A web site run from the University of Stuttgart in Germany offers scientists an opportunity to bring their own data from completed research project on environmental and health risks and contribute to an Integrated Environmental Health Impact Assessment System, dubbed IEHIAS .
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.
On the global water trail
On the global water trail Water is one of humanity’s most pressing issues. Do we have enough of it for drinking, for farming or for industry? Too much, in the shape of flooding? Or too little, in the form of drought? The WATCH project, funded by the EU, was designed to give us better answers to questions of water management .
Tougher climate-resistant crops
Tougher climate-resistant crops Might it be possible to make better plants more quickly than we do today? And without the public objection that accompanies genetic manipulation? Climate change means that this is now an urgent question.
Peter Freeman: Plants tell time
Peter Freeman: Plants tell time Scientist Peter Freeman is managing a project that is probing the clock and metabolism of plants, called TiMet . Partners to the project include star biologists in the Germany, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, all working to gain better insights into what make plants tick.
Solving the climate change vulnerabilities jigsaw
Solving the climate change vulnerabilities jigsaw Climate change and socio-economic factors are interdependent . If agriculture intensifies in a particular region, that would have an impact on water sector, resulting from the irrigation use.
Tim O’Higgins: a new way forward for Europe’s regional seas
Tim O’Higgins: a new way forward for Europe’s regional seas Tim O’Higgins is a marine biologist in Scotland who has focused on those vital ecostystem services provided by estuarine and coastal waters.
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