Earth & Environment

Indus civilisation decline: Core evidence for Late Holocene climate change

The socially complex and highly urbanised Indus Valley Civilisation began a sustained decline around 3900 cal yr BP (calendar years before present). This decline has been linked with abrupt climate change starting at ~4200 cal yr BP. Past studies examining its causes point to hydroclimate variability, but these studies offer inconsistent evidence for the timing and mechanism(s) driving mid- to […]

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Earth & Environment

Waste management and transition to a circular economy

As opposition to society’s ‘throwaway culture’ grows, so does the realisation that recycling and waste management are not only needed but desired by the public. Dr Pekka Peura at VEBIC, University of Vaasa, Finland, in collaboration with Dr Olli Voutilainen of the Natural Resources Institute Finland and Professor Jussi Kantola of the University of Turku, review the evolution of a […]

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Earth & Environment

Mexico’s 1887 Sonora earthquake: Lessons from the aftershocks

In May 1887, a magnitude (Mw) 7.5 earthquake rocked Sonora, Mexico. While the immediate effects impacted local communities, the event has become the world’s longest recorded normal-fault rupture in historic time. Professor Raúl Castro from the Department of Seismology at CICESE, Mexico, used a network of seismic monitoring equipment to uncover evidence that aftershocks from the 1887 event are still […]

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Earth & Environment

Sustainable urban mobility: Data-based insights for a future with only seamless public transport

Research being carried out by Professor Avishai (Avi) Ceder from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology offers a fresh global perspective of the current situation of urban transport. He examines opportunities for us to move towards sustainable urban mobility that could substantially reduce road traffic damages and its global impact. Using data from 19 countries and 17 major cities, Ceder measures […]

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Earth & Environment

Nature as an asset: Natural capital in ‘FutureCity’ Shimokawa

Natural capital provides the goods and services that sustain humankind, but accurately quantifying it remains problematic. Professor Mitsuru Osaki (Hokkaido University) and Mr Takashi Kasuga (NPO FutureForest Institute) have addressed this issue by focusing on Shimokawa, a town in northern Hokkaido, Japan. Shimokawa aims to achieve economic stability by using its forest resources. Quantifying 19 variables related to agriculture and […]

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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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