Earth & Environment

Conveyor belts of the Atlantic Ocean: Moving particles, organisms and litter around the globe

Ocean currents are a conveyor belt spanning the entire globe; they are transporting minerals, nutrients, organisms and other particles across vast distances. However, the full extent of the roles played by these flows is still poorly understood. Dr Rui Caldeira, Director of the Oceanic Observatory of Madeira in Portugal, and his collaborators Dr Iria Sala, Cláudio Cardoso and Maria João […]

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Earth & Environment

Understanding water resources in Latin America and the Caribbean region using environmental tracers

With approximately 660 million inhabitants, Latin America and the Caribbean region finds itself vulnerable to decreasing water availability in a changing climate. Increasing temperatures and abrupt land use changes, if not addressed, will continue the decline in surface water quality and quantity, thereby forcing greater dependence on groundwater extraction. Advancing studies into the availability, replenishment rates and quality of (ground) […]

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Earth & Environment

Recycling de-inked paper sludge in plant growing substrates

The recycled paper industry produces tons of waste with resulting disposal costs and environmental impacts. Francesca Bretzel from the Institute of Research on Terrestrial Ecosystems, National Research Council of Italy, and colleagues examined the suitability of de-inked paper sludge (DPS), in pellet form, as a sustainable component of growing media for plants. Their studies include its use in substrates for […]

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Earth & Environment

Climate change and the rise of infectious diseases: An Arctic perspective

Animals that carry infectious microorganisms are migrating towards the North with climate-change transitions of Arctic landscapes into warmer biomes. This threatens to change societal exposure to infectious diseases and affect the OneHealth status of Arctic cultures. OneHealth takes a multidisciplinary approach to health risks and risk mitigation for humans, animals, plants and the environment with the understanding that human health […]

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Earth & Environment

Could acesulfame potassium be leaving the bittersweet taste of a toxic environment?

Our modern sewage is defined by many potential toxic threats from new chemical compounds we use in our daily lives. One potentially unexpected entrant for this phenomenon is acesulfame potassium (ACE-K), a calorie-free sweetener. As it is not digested by the body, ACE-K is excreted straight into the toilet, arriving in our wastewater and surface water. Dr Patrick Guiney, Principal […]

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Earth & Environment

Building a climatology for tornadoes across Europe

Tornadoes happen all over the world, despite being most commonly associated with central USA. When a tornado strikes a city, it can be devastating to both infrastructure and lives. As infrequent as tornadoes may seem in Europe, it is important for their risk to be modelled, so we can prepare for the worst. Dr Juergen Grieser and Dr Phil Haines […]

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Earth & Environment

Preserving biodiverse river corridors for sustainable city development

As the global population continues to soar and the number of inhabitants in cities climbs ever higher, sustainable development strategies are urgently needed to prevent catastrophic ecological decline in our urban environments. Understanding anthropogenic threats is the first step towards conservation: Jochen Hack, Professor of Ecological Engineering at the University of Darmstadt in Germany and leader of the interdisciplinary research […]

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Earth & Environment

UAS-based Environmental Monitoring: Improving data collection through a standardised workflow

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) play an increasingly important role in collecting data for environmental monitoring. The primary challenges for UAS in environmental studies include creating consistent, standardised guidelines for data collection and establishing practices that apply to a range of environments. Dr Salvatore Manfreda from the University of Naples Federico II, along with the HARMONIOUS team, identified critical steps in […]

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Earth & Environment

Climate change economics: A net cost analysis of the Paris Agreement targets

Global warming will not only interfere with the earth’s environmental systems but will also cause economic disruption. One recent study suggested the cost of global warming will be dramatically higher than original estimates. Dr Patrick Brown, of San José State University, undertook a net cost analysis to find out when the benefits of meeting the Paris Agreement targets will begin […]

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Earth & Environment

What can COVID-19 shutdowns teach us about reducing air pollution?

The impact of COVID-19 on manufacturing, travel and the associated pollutant production has proved an unexpected opportunity for a global experiment for atmospheric scientists. Drs Jenny Stavrakou and Maite Bauwens at the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy are experts in atmospheric modelling and interpretation of satellite measurements of air pollution. They have been exploring how COVID-related changes have affected […]

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