Earth & Environment

A transdisciplinary approach to restoring London’s river Thames

Despite being one of the world’s most iconic rivers, the Thames faces many ecological challenges, and its health has deteriorated severely over recent decades. Martin Richardson from Royal Holloway, University of London, believes that an additional problem is the singular focus of existing research into those challenges. He also believes that a better, more sustainable Thames is possible. In a […]

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Earth & Environment

Accounting for biogeographical ignorance within biodiversity modelling

Biodiversity data can be analysed to predict species distribution at various scales of time and space. However, survey completeness and temporal decay in data quality introduce uncertainty into biodiversity models. Researchers Joaquín Hortal, Juliana Stropp (National Museum of Natural Sciences, Spain), Richard Ladle (University of Porto, Portugal), and Geiziane Tessarolo (State University of Goiás, Brazil), among others, are constructing the […]

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Earth & Environment

The TO-10 site in NW Italy is unsuitable for hosting the national nuclear waste repository

The storage and disposal of radioactive waste is an issue of global concern. Italy has recently started the procedure of identifying suitable sites for its national repository of low- and medium-activity nuclear waste. This task was assigned to state-owned company, Sogin SPA, which recently published a national map of potentially suitable areas. 67 sites were identified, including TO-10, in Northwest […]

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Earth & Environment

A delicate balance: Should we return green crop residues to the soil?

Returning crop residues to soil for decomposition is considered a common management practice, but it can result in increased emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas. Dr Gwenaëlle Lashermes, Dr Sylvie Recous, and Engr Gonzague Alavoine, from INRAE, the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment, investigated in collaboration with European partners the decomposition of nine […]

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Earth & Environment

Natural-capital-based societies in the tropics: Harnessing forest function to combat climate change

Natural capital – assets derived from the natural world – forms the basis of national economic systems. When natural capital is depleted without reinvestment, there is a net reduction in national wealth, resilience, and living standards. This issue blights the Global South. Professor Mitsuru Osaki of Hokkaido University, Japan, a COP26 symposium leader, studies natural-capital-based societies in the tropics. Natural-capital-based […]

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Earth & Environment

Protecting Israel’s freshwater: Phosphorous outsourcing in Lake Kinneret

Freshwater is such a scarce commodity in Israel that taking the salt out of seawater is routinely used as a way of supplying the population with drinking water. Lake Kinneret is the only natural freshwater lake in the whole country. Dr Moshe Gophen and his collaborators at MIGAL Galilee Research Institute have assessed the importance of different potential sources of […]

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Earth & Environment

Tuna on the move: How climate change impacts Pacific Island economies

Climate change affects the spatial distribution of commercially important tuna species in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Predicted shifts of tuna outside the jurisdictions of Pacific Island countries and territories could have a significant impact on the revenue they receive from tuna fishing, threatening their economic stability during climate change. Dr Johann Bell from Conservation International and the University of Wollongong, […]

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Earth & Environment

Australia’s approach to seed biosecurity

Globalised food production requires a heavy investment in biosecurity to prevent the spread and establishment of crop pests from imported seeds. Many countries already test incoming seeds for the absence of regulated pathogens, but with differing standards. In Australia, analyses by Dr David Dall from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, and Dr Fiona Constable from […]

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Earth & Environment

Korea’s clean energy shift: Drivers, obstacles, and outcomes

In the wake of the UN’s COP 26 Climate Change Conference, the devastating economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the global energy crisis, governments of varying political persuasions are hoping for a green-led economic recovery – investment in renewable and clean technologies to both create jobs and address climate change. For a case study they should consider South Korea. […]

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Earth & Environment

Permafrost’s photosynthetic microorganisms thrive in the Arctic

Permafrost is found across the Arctic and Antarctic – perennially frozen landscapes that can harbour microscopic life. Researchers Dr Tatiana Vishnivetskaya from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Dr Elizaveta Rivkina from the Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science, Pushchino, have collected permafrost sediment samples from polar regions to study the photosynthetic microorganisms within. The results of […]

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