Earth & Environment

Microplastics pollution in the Pantanal

By now, we all recognise microplastics as a huge problem in our oceans. This awareness peaked when the threat became direct to humans, through the consumption of contaminated marine produce. Unfortunately, the situation is even bleaker than we realised. Dr Pierre Girard from the Federal University of Mato Grosso has discovered microplastics in the remote Brazilian Pantanal, a huge and […]

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Earth & Environment

Earthquake forecasting: Small earthquakes show when big ones are more likely

Accurate earthquake forecasting is still a major challenge for geophysicists. The sudden and intense shaking of major earthquakes can cause severe damage to infrastructure and loss of life. Dr David Rhoades and Dr Annemarie Christophersen at GNS Science in New Zealand have developed a forecasting model using the seismicity patterns of earthquake precursors. They hope to make earthquake forecasts more […]

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Earth & Environment

Carbon capture utilisation in the deep ocean: The hydrothermal fuel cell

Deep-sea hydrothermal vents are one of the most hostile environments on Earth, and yet they support complex ecosystems. Dr Ryuhei Nakamura of the RIKEN Centre for Sustainable Resource Science and Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, has been researching how hydrothermal vents operate as a fuel cell for microbial life, their potential for deep-sea carbon capture through electrochemical carbon […]

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Earth & Environment

New technology for earthquake prediction: Nankai Trough, Japan

Dr Yusuke Yokota and colleagues at the University of Tokyo are developing so-called GNSS-A technology, which combines satellite positioning technology (GNSS) and acoustic positioning technology (A) to create precise observations of the seafloor position. This has significantly contributed to seismology and earthquake disaster prevention. Dr Yokota is currently focusing on observing so-called slow slip events in which there is a […]

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Earth & Environment

Water and planetary health: Protecting the lifeblood of human civilisation

Water is the lifeblood of planetary health and human civilisation. As a critical source of fresh water, rivers underpin civilisations, past and present. However, rivers constantly change in response to environmental and human pressures. Protecting global river systems from climate change and other anthropogenic activities (e.g., mining, pollution, dam construction), and understanding the interactions with human health (e.g., through the […]

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Earth & Environment

Climate change impacts on freshwater resources in southern Florida

As climate changes and sea levels rise, saltwater intrudes into the groundwater that sustains humans and natural ecosystems. These changes are often analysed using complex and highly detailed models analogous to weather forecast models. In this work, Dr Joseph Park and colleagues used a simpler, holistic approach: an agent-based model reflecting the response of different vegetation types to changing environmental […]

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Earth & Environment

Sustainable viticulture using organic fertilisers

Collaboration between researchers, vineyard owners and technology developers is helping to promote a sustainable approach to vineyard soil management that is also likely to improve vine and wine quality. Isabella Ghiglieno, project manager of Life Vitisom, presents the aims and results of a three-and-a-half-year study in Italy demonstrating how precision farming in the form of variable-rate technology could enable efficient, […]

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Earth & Environment

Climate change: 40 years on the front lines of the climate change wars

Gary Yohe, a Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies at the Wesleyan University has been on the front lines of climate change research for the last 40 years. This is an overview of his influential work on climate change risk management, adaptation, mitigation, detection and attribution. Gary Yohe specialises in Microeconomic theory, Natural Resources, and Environmental Economics. As well as […]

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