Tag Archives: climate change

Solar power stations in space could be the answer to our energy needs

Artist impression of a solar disk in space. NASA Amanda Jane Hughes, University of Liverpool and Stefania Soldini, University of Liverpool It sounds like science fiction: giant solar power stations floating in space that beam down enormous amounts of energy to Earth. And for a long time, the concept – first developed by the Russian scientist, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, in the …

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Climate crisis: how museums could inspire radical action

The Gallery of Ecological Art (formerly China gallery) at the British Museum of Decolonised Nature. Image courtesy John Zhang and Studio JZ, Author provided Colin Sterling, UCL and Rodney Harrison, UCL When Victorian tea-merchant Frederick Horniman was looking to build a new home for his extensive collection of natural and cultural artefacts, his own back garden offered the perfect spot. …

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Fires shaped Mount Kilimanjaro’s unique environment. Now they threaten it

Fires on Kilimanjaro, October 2020. Thomas Becker/picture alliance via Getty Images Andreas Hemp, Bayreuth University In October, firefighters in Tanzania had to tackle a number of fires on Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain and the largest free-standing mountain in the world. The mountain and surrounding forests fall into Kilimanjaro National Park, named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987. Andreas …

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Preserving cultural and historic treasures in a changing climate may mean transforming them

Erin Seekamp, North Carolina State University With global travel curtailed during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are finding comfort in planning future trips. But imagine that you finally arrive in Venice and the “floating city” is flooded. Would you stay anyway, walking through St. Mark’s Square on makeshift catwalks or elevated wooden passages – even if you couldn’t enter the …

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Microbes might be gatekeepers of the planet’s greatest greenhouse gas reserves

Mikhail Varentsov / shutterstock Chris Allen, Queen’s University Belfast and Niall English, University College Dublin Massive greenhouse gas reserves, frozen deep under the seabed, are alarmingly now starting to thaw. That’s according to an international team of scientists whose preliminary findings were recently reported in the Guardian. These deposits, technically called methane “gas hydrates”, are often described as “fiery ice” …

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Global food system emissions alone threaten warming beyond 1.5°C – but we can act now to stop it

Pajtica/Shutterstock John Lynch, University of Oxford How people grow food and the way we use the land is an important, though often overlooked, contributor to climate change. While most people recognise the role of burning fossil fuels in heating the atmosphere, there has been less discussion about the necessary changes for bringing agriculture in line with a “net-zero” world. But …

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Climate change, migration and urbanisation: patterns in sub-Saharan Africa

Herders at the N’gonga cattle market, Niger: Changing rainfall patterns alter locations of pastures the migrating herders depend on. Getty Images Roman Hoffmann, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research The link between climate change and migration has gained both academic and public interest in recent years. Many studies have found that environmental hazards affect migration. But the links are nuanced …

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Central Asia risks becoming a hyperarid desert in the near future

Jakub Czajkowski / shutterstock Natasha Barbolini, Stockholm University Around 34 million years ago, sudden climate change caused ecological breakdown in Central Asia. This ancient event, triggered by rapid drops in temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide, permanently affected biological diversity in the region. Large areas of Mongolia, (geographic) Tibet and north-western China suddenly became hyperarid deserts with little vegetation cover – …

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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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