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Environment

27 April 2021

‘Impossible to adapt’: Surprisingly fast ice-melts in past raise fears about sea level rise

Studies of ancient beaches and fossilised coral reefs suggest sea levels have the potential to rise far more quickly than models currently predict, according to geologists who have been studying past periods of warming.
26 April 2021

What happens below Earth’s surface when the most powerful earthquakes occur

At 03:34 local time on 27 February 2010, Chile was struck by one of the most powerful earthquakes in a century. The shock triggered a tsunami, which devastated coastal communities. The combined events killed more than 500 people. So powerful was the shaking that, by one NASA estimate, it shifted Earth’s axis of spin by a full 8 cm.
15 April 2021

Sponge parks and vertical gardens – how cities are using nature to overcome extreme weather

In January 2021, Storm Christoph pummelled the United Kingdom with heavy rains and the threat of unmanageable runoff. But in flood-prone Manchester, a newly developed park was proving its worth.
13 April 2021

New materials to make ships more sustainable and less noisy for marine life

Ships have a significant environmental impact during building, operation and when they’re scrapped, but new approaches and composite materials to replace steel – still popular due to its strength and low cost – could make vessels more sustainable, recyclable, and less noisy for marine animals.
30 March 2021

The curious case of northeast Brazil’s cross-breeding sea turtles

Sea turtles have been around since dinosaurs roamed the Earth, stretching back about 110 million years. Yet now their existence is at risk, with six of today’s seven species classified as threatened or endangered.
23 March 2021

People have started to care about insects. Now we need action, say experts

‘If you had asked me this question four years ago, I would have given you a totally different answer.’
22 March 2021

Water in a loop: how to combat water scarcity on remote islands

Every summer, thousands of tourists travel to Greece’s idyllic islands to enjoy their sunny beaches. Even the global pandemic couldn’t keep visitors away, but water scarcity might. Many Greek islands survive on water imports and are struggling to meet residents’ and agriculture’s water needs – let alone those of tourists.
18 March 2021

Q&A: We need non-critical raw materials for green tech to flourish

Developing new, green technologies has been hailed as a way to both achieve Europe’s environmental goals and support its economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic. But what type of green technologies do we need and how do we get them scaled up to a point where they can have a real impact?
17 March 2021

Pheromones, mulch and wildflowers – how to control pests without pesticides

Pheromones that interfere with insect mating patterns, crops that are grown together with others and fields edged with wildflowers are just some of the techniques being developed by European scientists to defend crops from pests without resorting to pesticides, which have been linked to widespread insect biodiversity loss.
11 March 2021

Smart windows could reduce the need for energy-hungry air conditioners

Smart windows that control the amount of heat that enters or leaves a building can reduce the need for energy-intensive air conditioning units and help efforts to retrofit Europe’s buildings to make them more energy efficient.