Earth & Environment

Urban water and sanitation reforms in Sub-Saharan Africa

Many countries in the developing world have undertaken ambitious reforms of their urban water and sanitation. Unfortunately, few have achieved excellent, sustainable results. In his recent book, Empty Buckets and Overflowing Pits, Dr Roland Werchota describes his research into urban water and sanitation sector reforms in four Sub-Saharan African countries, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia, and explains why these […]

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Earth & Environment

Soil and groundwater contamination: An old and new issue needs to be solved

Dr Ming Zhang is an innovation coordinator at Geological Survey of Japan, AIST. Alongside his research group, he is advocating the importance of using interdisciplinary tools for sustainable remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater. Their research has shown that cost-effective and environment-friendly technologies such as the use of microorganisms to degrade organic contaminants and the use of minerals to immobilise […]

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Earth & Environment

ENACTS: Risk, Resilience, and the Revitalisation of Climate Services in the Developing World

To build resilience and national capacity to manage climate variability and adapt to change, governments and other bodies need robust and decision-relevant climate information at different levels. In many places, however, including most African countries, collection of climate data has been seriously inadequate, and even when available, poorly accessible. The Enhancing National Climate Services (ENACTS) initiative, led by Dr Tufa […]

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Earth & Environment

Planetary Protection Policy: For sustainable space exploration and to safeguard our biosphere

The search for the origin of life amongst the planetary bodies in our solar system is a driving factor in space research. However, the simple act of sending a spacecraft to explore in situ solar system objects can potentially compromise their environments and cause harmful contamination when returning to Earth. Avoiding such biological contamination of planetary bodies (forward contamination) is […]

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Earth & Environment

Predicting post-seismic liquefaction through geological response analysis

During liquefaction, solid sandy ground behaves like a liquid, posing a significant threat in earthquake-prone regions. Seismic waves cause water-saturated sandy sediments to flow, resulting in ground subsidence and flooding. To address gaps in our understanding, Prof Yukitake Shioi from the Hachinohe Institute of Technology in Japan applied a finite element method model to observations from the 1994 Far-Off Sanriku […]

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Earth & Environment

Protein as a Unifying Metric for Carbon Footprinting Livestock

Agriculture and livestock production contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. To reduce these emissions, some environmental groups advocate reducing the amount of red meat that we consume. James Dyer and Raymond Desjardins, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), were interested in the impact that reducing red meat, diversifying meat consumption and changing cattle diets could potentially have on […]

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Earth & Environment

Cow genetics could reduce the environmental impact of pastoral livestock production

Dairy farming can have negative effects on the environment, polluting waterways with an excess of nitrogen that can have long-term impacts. Research to date has addressed this problem by looking at ways to reduce the cow’s urinary urea nitrogen concentration, but this has involved mitigation techniques that paint the cow as the problem rather than the solution. Cameron Marshall, a […]

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Earth & Environment

Slip sliding away: Landslides, earthquakes, rainfall and the Andes

Landslides are the most deadly secondary effect of earthquakes in mountainous regions. Dr Noélie Bontemps (Université Grenoble Alpes) has uncovered the secrets of a slow landside in Peru by monitoring post-seismic landslide dynamics in both the dry and wet seasons. GPS and seismic data confirm that in combination, earthquakes and rainfall cause greater landslide motion than either force alone. There […]

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Earth & Environment

Kibi Plateau: A stable location within active Japan

The Japan Islands experience some of the most extreme earthquakes and volcanoes in the world. Located on the subduction junction between four different continental and oceanic plates, the islands are at risk from large earthquakes and volcanoes as the crust moves below. Dr Tetsumaru Itaya is a geologist at the Institute of GeoHistory of Japan Geochronology Network, and his research […]

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Earth & Environment

Water in Crisis: Delivering urban and natural water cycle symbiosis

The Water Research Group in the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering at the University of Sheffield is the UK’s largest urban water research team. Their research encompasses the entire water service provision including assessing the environmental impact and protection of groundwater and rivers, stormwater management and flooding, green and urban water infrastructure engineering, and management of buried assets to […]

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