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.
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 .
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 .
Levelling food price volatility, while supporting the poor
Levelling food price volatility, while supporting the poor The worst food crisis in 30 years looms for 50 million people across southern Africa from Mozambique to Angola. Two years without rain has destroyed harvests. Food prices have skyrocketed.
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 ...
Gone with the wind farms – Six of the world’s top offshore arrays in pictures
Gone with the wind farms – Six of the world’s top offshore arrays in pictures United Kingdom - London Array With a peak rated power of 630 megawatts, London Array is the largest wind farm in Europe by capacity, and also the largest offshore plant in the world.
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.
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.
Preventing “oceans of plastic soup”
Preventing “oceans of plastic soup” Approximately 8 million metric tons of plastic waste washes off land into the ocean each year. Bottle caps, toothbrushes, tiny plastic fragments, filaments, pellets, film and resin float about in the water columns.
Climate change and extreme weather events: is Europe ready?
Climate change and extreme weather events: is Europe ready? In 2005 the centre of the Finnish capital Helsinki was nearly flooded because of the raising of the sea level. After that event, the municipality has been building special pedestrian ways, which are about 1.
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.
Preventing a Fukushima disaster in Europe
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.
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