Category: News Stories

How did elephants evolve such a large brain? Climate change is part of the answer

Elephants have long captivated our attention, partly because of their sheer size and majesty. But we’re also struck by their complex behaviour. In some ways, we’re fascinated because this behaviour echoes our most humane feelings. For instance, elephants have repeatedly been observed using tools and grieving their dead.

Seismic tracks from oil exploration show clearly from the air.

Methane emissions from oil and gas exploration are under-reported

Wetlands in Canada’s boreal forest contain deep deposits of carbon-rich soils, made up of decomposed vegetation (peat) that has accumulated over thousands of years. Globally, peatlands store twice as much carbon as all of the world’s forests combined. Protecting this carbon store is critical in the fight against climate change.

The Malizia II sailboat on which Greta Thunberg plans to sail from Britain to the United States. HANDOUT/Team Malizia/Andreas Lindlahr

Climate champion Greta Thunberg to set sail for Americas on zero-carbon trip

Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg is taking a year off school to pursue her campaign to curb global warming in the Americas, which she will reach by sailboat on a transatlantic voyage. She will travel from Britain to the United States on a racing boat fitted with solar panels and underwater turbines that produce electricity onboard, making the journey zero-carbon.

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.