Environment

How fracking plans could affect shared water resources in southern Africa

Fracking in the headwaters of the Okavango delta may negatively affect the water quality in this water source area. GettyImages

Fracking in the headwaters of the Okavango delta may negatively affect the water quality in this water source area. GettyImages Surina Esterhuyse, University of the Free State Recently, news reports revealed plans by a Canadian oil and gas company, ReconAfrica, to explore for oil and gas in some of Africa’s most sensitive protected areas. These areas include the Namibian headwaters …

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Humans threaten the Antarctic Peninsula’s fragile ecosystem. A marine protected area is long overdue

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Shutterstock Marissa Parrott, University of Melbourne; Carolyn Hogg, University of Sydney; Cassandra Brooks, University of Colorado Boulder; Justine Shaw, The University of Queensland, and Melissa Cristina Márquez, Curtin University Antarctica, the world’s last true wilderness, has been protected by an international treaty for the last 60 years. But the same isn’t true for most of the ocean surrounding it. Just …

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Climate research is critical in Africa: how to make it more visible

Biometeorology is the study of the role of climate on plants, animals and humans. Getty Images

Biometeorology is the study of the role of climate on plants, animals and humans. Getty Images Jennifer Fitchett, University of the Witwatersrand Weather and climate have far-reaching effects on every part of life. The timing of seasons, range of daily and seasonal temperatures, the amount of rainfall – these all influence things as diverse as food production, disease prevalence and …

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Nobel Peace Prize spotlights the links between hunger and conflict

Villagers collect World Food Programme aid dropped from a plane Feb. 6 in South Sudan. Tony Karumba/AFP via Getty Images

Villagers collect World Food Programme aid dropped from a plane Feb. 6 in South Sudan. Tony Karumba/AFP via Getty Images Jessica Eise, Purdue University The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the United Nations World Food Program for its efforts to combat hunger, foster conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and prevent the use of hunger as a …

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Climate explained: are consumers willing to pay more for climate-friendly products?

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Shutterstock/Alliance Images Gary Mortimer, Queensland University of Technology CC BY-ND Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz I’m seeing quite a few “climate-friendly” products at the supermarket. Are …

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New research: nitrous oxide emissions 300 times more powerful than CO₂ are jeopardising Earth’s future

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Shutterstock Pep Canadell, CSIRO; Eric Davidson, University of Maryland, Baltimore; Glen Peters, Center for International Climate and Environment Research – Oslo; Hanqin Tian, Auburn University; Michael Prather, University of California, Irvine; Paul Krummel, CSIRO; Rob Jackson, Stanford University; Rona Thompson, Norwegian Institute for Air Research, and Wilfried Winiwarter, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) Nitrous oxide from agriculture and …

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Our helicopter rescue may seem a lot of effort for a plain little bird, but it was worth it

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John Harrison/WIkimedia Rohan Clarke, Monash University; Katherine Selwood, University of Melbourne, and Rowan Mott, Monash University This article is part of Flora, Fauna, Fire, a special project by The Conversation that tracks the recovery of Australia’s native plants and animals after last summer’s bushfire tragedy. Explore the project here and read more articles here. As we stepped out of a …

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Explainer: what’s behind the locust swarms damaging crops in southern Africa

The most effective means of controlling locusts is to prevent the swarms from forming. shutterstock

The most effective means of controlling locusts is to prevent the swarms from forming. shutterstock Frances Duncan, University of the Witwatersrand Seven million people in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe have been affected by a migratory locust outbreak currently ravaging crops and pastures across southern Africa. Professor Frances Duncan, whose research work involves investigating the survival strategies of brown locusts, …

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What the world can learn from clean energy transitions in India, China and Brazil

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Jenson / shutterstock Radhika Khosla, University of Oxford; Ajinkya Shrish Kamat, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Venkatesh Narayanamurti, Harvard University If the world is to transition to a climate-compatible future, much will turn on new innovations in clean energy and whether they can be deployed at a large scale. This is especially critical for emerging economies, which are developing their …

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