Category: The Planet – Enviroment

Heatwave ‘completely obliterated’ the record for Europe’s hottest ever June

June was hot. Really hot. That much we knew. What we didn’t know was just how hot it was – not just in parts of Europe, but around the world. New analysis by the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, with…

Climate crisis: migration cannot be the only option for people living on ‘drowning’ islands

The evidence of the climate crisis is now undeniable. But state responses to climate change often have social and political motivations, rather than addressing the realities of this threat. Since the 1980s, preventative action has been internationally stifled by the…

US agriculture needs a 21st-century New Deal

These are difficult times in farm country. Historic spring rains – 600% above average in some places – inundated fields and homes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts that this year’s corn and soybean crops will be the smallest in…

Climate change: real estate worth billions could become obsolete – unless owners act now

From the school strikes for climate, to Extinction Rebellion protests and calls for a Green New Deal, citizens around the world are putting pressure on their governments to prevent global warming more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. In the UK,…

From Shark Bay seagrass to Stone Age Scotland, we can now assess climate risks to World Heritage

Climate change is the fastest-growing global threat to World Heritage. However, no systematic approach to assess the climate vulnerability of each particular property has existed – until now. Our newly developed tool, the Climate Vulnerability Index, was showcased this week…

CO₂ levels and climate change: is there really a controversy?

The relationship between atmospheric CO2 levels and climate change is often perceived as a controversial subject. While there’s no real disagreement among climate scientists – around 90% fully agree that human activity is clearly responsible for climate change – in…

Time will tell if this is a record summer for Greenland ice melt, but the pattern over the past 20 years is clear

Greenland has been in the news a bit lately. From Huskies seemingly walking on water, to temperatures soaring to 20℃ above average for the time of year, to predictions of the vast ice sheet being lost entirely, what is going…

Retire all existing and planned fossil fuel power plants to limit warming to 1.5°C

It will be very difficult to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by enough to halt global heating at 1.5°C – the threshold at which catastrophic climate change becomes more likely – according to a new paper published in Nature. If the…

What happens when a country drowns?

Global climate change is endangering small island countries, many of them developing nations, potentially harming their ability to function as independent states. As international environmental co-operation stalls, we must ask what consequences climate change will have on the statehood of…

Curious Kids: how can penguins stay warm in the freezing cold waters of Antarctica?

Curious Kids is a series for children. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, send it to curiouskids@theconversation.edu.au You might also like the podcast Imagine This, a co-production between ABC KIDS listen and The Conversation, based…

Glue could be the magic ingredient for cheap and efficient CO₂ capture

Carbon capture and storage is a hot topic among researchers striving to save the planet from climate change. Scientists are constantly trying to develop and improve materials which can capture carbon dioxide (CO₂) from the atmosphere. At the Energy Safety…

Eating insects is good for you — and the planet!

Does the idea of eating insects bug you? Well, think about this: the United Nations predicts that by 2050, if current trends continue, the world’s population will reach 9.8 billion. As a result, global demand for food and feed is…

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…