climate change

How growing cities can support at-home electric vehicle charging

 How growing cities can support at-home electric vehicle charging

Rapid urban population growth is driving many cities around the world to reduce their carbon footprints. In Canada, two major policy agendas are designed to achieve this: boosting urban density and promoting low-carbon transportation such as electric vehicles (EVs).

Can genetic engineering save disappearing forests?

Can genetic engineering save disappearing forests?

Compared to gene-edited babies in China and ambitious projects to rescue woolly mammoths from extinction, biotech trees might sound pretty tame. But releasing genetically engineered trees into forests to counter threats to forest health represents a new frontier in biotechnology.

Coffee: 60% of wild species are at risk of extinction due to climate change

Coffee: 60% of wild species are at risk of extinction due to climate change

Is your morning coffee an espresso or a skinny latte? Is it from a darkly roasted French or Italian blend? If it’s a high quality brew, it’s almost certainly made with beans from the Arabica species (Coffea arabica), which is known for its finer flavours. Examples would be Javan coffees, Ethiopian sidamo, and the expensive Jamaican blue mountain.

Hothouse Earth: our planet has been here before – here’s what it looked like

 Hothouse Earth: our planet has been here before – here’s what it looked like

Even if carbon emissions are reduced to hold temperature rises at the 2°C guardrail of the Paris Agreement, changes already afoot in the environment such as melting permafrost and forest die-back could accelerate warming well into the future, potentially pushing our planet into what is being called a “Hothouse Earth” state.

There’s a Radical Plan to Artificially Cool the Planet by Mimicking Volcanic Eruptions

There’s a Radical Plan to Artificially Cool the Planet by Mimicking Volcanic Eruptions

Some have suggested solar geoengineering — the injection of aerosols into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight away from the planet — as a way to counter global warming. However, new research suggests the radical process could do as much harm as good.

Scientists Have Completed the First-Ever “Atlas of Life”

Scientists Have Completed the First-Ever “Atlas of Life”

Climate change, deforestation, and other threats put a huge portion of wildlife at risk. An international team of scientists have finished a new atlas map that highlights the location of 10,000 reptile species, and shows areas in need of better protection.

Melting ice and satellites: how to measure the Earth’s ‘wiggle

Melting ice and satellites: how to measure the Earth’s ‘wiggle

In a driverless future, it will be vital that our cars know exactly where they are on the road, down to the millimetre. We’ve found that our current methods of measuring location may not be up to scratch. Changes on Earth’s surface, including polar ice melt, may alter its centre of mass, throwing our calculations out of whack.

To curb climate change, we need to protect and expand US forests

To curb climate change, we need to protect and expand US forests

Forests have been removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing carbon for more than 300 million years. When we cut down or burn trees and disturb forest soils, we release that stored carbon to the atmosphere. Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, one-third of all carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere from human activities have come from deforestation.

How Europe’s coastal cities can cope with rising sea levels

How Europe’s coastal cities can cope with rising sea levels

The average global sea level has risen by more than 20cm since 1980 – that’s a rate of 0.5mm per month – according to new research from the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BCCC). These are frightening statistics for Europe’s vulnerable coastal cities including Barcelona, Istanbul, Dublin and others. With homes, infrastructure and indeed entire economies at stake, it’s crucial for authorities to understand the extent of the risk these cities are facing – and take steps to manage it.

Turning greenhouse gas into gasoline

Turning greenhouse gas into gasoline

A new catalyst material developed by chemists at MIT provides key insight into the design requirements for producing liquid fuels from carbon dioxide, the leading component of greenhouse gas emissions. The findings suggest a route toward using the world’s existing infrastructure for fuel storage and distribution, without adding net greenhouse emissions to the atmosphere.

What exactly does ‘instantaneous’ mean?

What exactly does ‘instantaneous’ mean?

How short is an “instant”? Is it a second? A tenth of a second? A microsecond? You might think all of these qualify. What about 100 years? That certainly doesn’t seem like an instant, and to a human being, it isn’t, since we’d be lucky to have a lifespan that long. But to a giant sequoia, say, 100 years is no big deal. And in geological terms it’s practically nothing.

Can ‘climate corridors’ help species adapt to warming world?

Can ‘climate corridors’ help species adapt to warming world?

About 45 percent of the U.S. is relatively undisturbed by human beings. These natural areas, such as the forest patches of the Southeast, provide homes for many species today. But those species will undoubtedly need to move in the near future as temperatures continue warming and precipitation shifts. Is there some way we can plan for and aid species to adapt as the climate changes?

More CO2 won’t help northern forests or stave off climate change

More CO2 won’t help northern forests or stave off climate change

Climate change not only affects humans but also the world's forests. Is it possible that trees grow more quick when with milder winters and a longer growing season? Or will the drought cause  regression of our global woodlands?

Living with complexity: evolution, ecology, viruses and climate change

Living with complexity: evolution, ecology, viruses and climate change

Biomedical researchers like me probe the mechanistic basis of health and disease. In a long career working at the discovery end of the spectrum, I’ve been privileged to live through, and make some small contribution to, an extraordinary (and continuing) revolution in medical understanding and human well-being.

Study pinpoints timing of oxygen’s first appearance in Earth’s atmosphere

Study pinpoints timing of oxygen’s first appearance in Earth’s atmosphere

Today, 21 percent of the air we breathe is made up of molecular oxygen. But this gas was not always in such ample, life-sustaining supply, and in fact was largely absent from the atmosphere for the first 2 billion years of Earth’s history. When, then, did oxygen first accumulate in the atmosphere?

Study: Ancient tectonic activity was trigger for ice ages Continenta

Study: Ancient tectonic activity was trigger for ice ages Continenta

For hundreds of millions of years, Earth’s climate has remained on a fairly even keel, with some dramatic exceptions: Around 80 million years ago, the planet’s temperature plummeted, along with carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. The Earth eventually recovered, only to swing back into the present-day ice age 50 million years ago.

How exploring Mars could help us fight climate change on Earth

How exploring Mars could help us fight climate change on Earth

The surface of Mars is a cold desert. Scars in the landscape point to a history of flowing rivers, standing lakes and possibly even planetary oceans. Yet the current Martian atmosphere has a density that’s around 0.6% of Earth’s, making it far too thin to support liquid water – or life – on the barren surface.

Water problems in Asia’s future? - Study finds high risk of severe water stress in Asia by 2050.

Water problems in Asia’s future? - Study finds high risk of severe water stress in Asia by 2050.

Economic and population growth on top of climate change could lead to serious water shortages across a broad swath of Asia by the year 2050, a newly published study by MIT scientists has found.