Category: The Planet

Climate explained: why your backyard lawn doesn’t help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

While growing grass takes up carbon dioxide, it emits it again back into the atmosphere when it is mowed or eaten. from www.shutterstock.com, CC BY-ND CC BY-ND Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand...

/ September 3, 2019

Central banks are waking up to climate change dangers. It’s about time

Central banks and other financial sector regulators have not always paid adequate attention to the sector's impact on the environment ShutterstockThe impact of climate change on the stability of individual financial institutions and the financial system in general is growing....

/ September 2, 2019

Grim fire season looms but many Australians remain unprepared

Burnt out cars in Tingha, New South Wales, in February 2019. AAP/Dave HuntBushfires are predicted to be worse than normal across much of Australia this summer but research shows many people, especially those in high-risk areas, remain unprepared. The latest...

/ September 1, 2019

Plants can recover after being burned, so why might some species in the Amazon face local wipe out?

Buttongrass survives and rapidly regrows after a fire. Tasmania, Australia. Tim Rudman/Flickr, CC BY-SABeing rooted in one place gives plants the stability they need to grow and thrive. But as the Amazon fires show, that can quickly turn into a...

/ August 30, 2019

Spiders are threatened by climate change – and even the biggest arachnophobes should be worried

As the world warms, male ladybird spiders are hatching too early in the year to meet a mate. MF Photo / shutterstockIs climate change making spiders more aggressive? A recent scientific study suggests so, as the researchers link aggressiveness to...

/ August 30, 2019

More frequent fires could dramatically alter boreal forests and emit more carbon

A wildfire mores towards the town of Anzac from Fort McMurray, Alta. in May 2016. Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via APThese days, smoke-filled summer skies and dusky red sunsets are a common occurrence across Canada and the United States. Much...

/ August 29, 2019

Peru’s ancient water systems can help protect communities from shortages caused by climate change

Harvesting wheat in the Peruvian Andes. Shutterstock.Water is essential for human life, but in many parts of the world water supplies are under threat from more extreme, less predictable weather conditions due to climate change. Nowhere is this clearer than...

/ August 26, 2019

How doctors convinced the world the planet was worth fighting for

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985, is one example of doctors' involvement on the political stage. Wellcome Images/Wikimedia CommonsLast week, one of the world’s leading medical journals declared the medical...

/ August 25, 2019

How we can keep our planet cool even as A/C use rises

On June 28, 2019, record temperatures were recorded in the French department of le Gard, rising above the 45°C (113°F) mark for the first time in France. Less than a month later a second heat wave hit, pushing temperatures in Paris and...

/ August 25, 2019

Amazon fires explained: what are they, why are they so damaging, and how can we stop them?

Adam Ronan, Author providedImagine a rainforest at dawn – the tall canopy laden with dripping ferns and orchids, tree trunks covered in spongy mosses and lichens, and the morning mist only slowly burning away as the sun rises. While there...

/ August 23, 2019

It’s not just Brazil’s Amazon rainforest that’s ablaze – Bolivian fires are threatening people and wildlife

Firefighters and volunteers have been working around the clock to tackle the flames. Ipa Ibañez, Author providedUp to 800,000 hectares of the unique Chiquitano forest were burned to the ground in Bolivia between August 18 and August 23. That’s more...

/ August 23, 2019

Travel the world without destroying it – Imagine newsletter #5

Sergey Tinyakov/ShutterstockLook with your eyes, not your hands. You were probably told that at some point growing up, as your eagerness to see and experience something new was checked by a wary adult. Humans now handle the Earth in a...

/ August 22, 2019

The global community is finally acting on climate change, but we need to switch to renewable energy faster

ShutterstockEnergy is the lifeblood of all societies. But the production of energy from the burning of fossil fuels produces carbon emissions that are released into the atmosphere on a grand scale. The energy sector accounts for more than 70% of...

/ August 22, 2019

Why Canada should lead global climate action

Emissions are seen from an oil refinery in Alberta. (Shutterstock) Canada prides itself as a champion of multilateralism, peace, security and sustainable development. However, its commitment to global climate action, the world’s most emblematic indicator of these issues, is at...

/ August 21, 2019

Climate explained: why we need to cut emissions as well as prepare for impacts

Research shows the cost of damage through climate change will be much greater than the costs of reducing emissions. from www.shutterstock.com, CC BY-ND CC BY-ND Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media...

/ August 20, 2019

Climate change may change the way ocean waves impact 50% of the world’s coastlines

The rise in sea levels is not the only way climate change will affect the coasts. Our research, published today in Nature Climate Change, found a warming planet will also alter ocean waves along more than 50% of the world’s...

/ August 19, 2019

Myths about disaster survivors stall the global response to climate change

In this November 2013, photo, Typhoon Haiyan survivors pass by hundreds of victims in body bags near Tacloban, Philippines. Haiyan left more than 7,300 people dead or missing. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)The 2018 report from the the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate...

/ August 18, 2019

Pacific Island nations will no longer stand for Australia’s inaction on climate change

The Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Tuvalu this week has ended in open division over climate change. Australia ensured its official communique watered down commitments to respond to climate change, gaining a hollow victory. Traditionally, communiques capture the consensus reached...

/ August 16, 2019

Top climate scientist: I put myself through hell as an IPCC convening lead author, but it was worth it

The IPCC is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Boxun Liu / shutterstockIn my day job, I am a scientist at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland studying things such as how agriculture contributes to climate change and what we can do...

/ August 15, 2019

Can Scott Morrison deliver on climate change in Tuvalu – or is his Pacific ‘step up’ doomed?

Pacific leaders don't want to talk about China's rising influence – they want Scott Morrison to make a firm commitment to cut Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. Mick Tsikas/AAPThis week’s Pacific Islands Forum comes at an important time in the overall...

/ August 14, 2019