Women harvesting tea by hand in plantations in Nandi Hills, in the Western Kenya highlands. Adopting more sustainable farming practices in India, such as by reducing irrigation, might actually adversely affect levels of rainfall in East Africa. By Jen Watson/Shutterstock

Increasing danger of ‘unexpected implications’ as climate risks converge

If India’s water-short farmers were to adopt more efficient methods of irrigation, cutting evaporation from their fields, farmers in East Africa might see less rainfall – and worsening drought – within five years, scientists have warned.

Government negligence, rampant development and illegal land clearing spark wildfires in Indonesia that annually ravage thousands of acres of forest. AP Photo

Resource depletion is a serious problem, but ‘footprint’ estimates don’t tell us much about it

Experts widely agree that human activities are harming the global environment. Since the Industrial Revolution, the world economy has grown dramatically. Overall this is a success story, since rising incomes have lifted millions of people out of poverty. But it has been fueled by population growth and increasing consumption of natural resources.

Children and their father clean out debris for further recycling in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, India.

India’s first ‘garbage cafe’ offers meals in return for plastic trash

Hungry, but don’t have cash? No problem, bring plastic waste and get a free meal, said the mayor of an Indian city where the country’s first “garbage cafe” will open next month. The small restaurant in the eastern city of Ambikapur will provide hearty food to homeless and poor people and encourage citizens to keep their streets clean, said mayor Ajay Tirkey.

A cinematic portrayal of a city destroyed by Tsunami waves. Elements in this cityscape were carefully created, modified and manipulated to resemble a fictitious disaster scene.

As funding for Resilient Cities ends, plans to counter risks from climate & social change continue

More than 70 cities that are part of the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) network, set up in 2013, have crafted “resilience strategies” that include about 3,500 activities designed to combat shocks and stresses – everything from floods to an influx of refugees.

HBBE concept image

World’s first research hub to create living buildings launches

Experts from Newcastle and Northumbria Universities are to develop new technologies to revolutionise how buildings are constructed and how they operate. The new hub will include The OME, an experimental biological house, which will be built on Newcastle University’s campus. A living lab, the OME will be used as an experimental facility to test and showcase the hub’s ground-breaking research.

Chimney stack: a resin developed by a team at Swansea University could help improve carbon capture materials. Credit Veeterzy.

Could a simple glue be the solution to carbon capture at power stations?

Is glue the answer to climate change? Researchers at the Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) at Swansea University have proven that it could certainly help. They have developed a new material capable of capturing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) with the key ingredient being a common epoxy resin you probably have at home.

Pellet makers say they use only lumber mill waste, treetops and limbs, and crooked trees to produce wood pellets. Industry critics argue that companies are increasingly clear-cutting forests to meet growing demand. Losing standing forests means losing natural carbon sinks, biodiversity and protection from storms and floods. Photo credit: USDAgov on Visual Hunt / CC BY

UK’s net-zero emissions 2050 pledge undermined by biomass energy loophole

The United Kingdom and the European Union are setting goals to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. But that declaration is deeply flawed, analysts say, due to a long-standing United Nations carbon accounting loophole that turns a blind eye toward the conversion of coal burning power plants to burning wood pellets.

Reaching beyond the usual customer for local food.

Short food supply chains: setting another place at the table

Ever more citizens are opting for short food supply network to get fresh local produce. They bypass supermarkets and support sustainable agriculture. However, this is often the prerogative of an educated and activist population. The challenge is to involve more disadvantaged people.