Tag Archives: Climate Change

Morning News: Canada Election Aftermath, Cost Of Online Shopping Rises

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau remains in power after Monday’s election, but he emerges without the majority he wanted, and with his soft power damaged. He now faces a fourth wave of the pandemic and an emboldened far-right from a weaker position.

 Child labour fell markedly in the 16 years after the turn of the millennium. Now it’s on the rise again. Efforts to prevent children from working can often exacerbate the problem. And we consider one of the more unusual ideas for combating climate change: potty-training cows.

Conservation: Protecting Chile’s Araucaria Forests

The monkey puzzle tree is one of the oldest tree species in the world, dating back to the dinosaur age. Climate change and deforestation endanger them, but in areas inhabited by indigenous peoples in Chile, their numbers are increasing.

Araucaria araucana is an evergreen tree growing to 1–1.5 m in diameter and 30–40 m in height. It is native to central and southern Chile and western Argentina. Araucaria araucana is the hardiest species in the conifer genus Araucaria.

Science: Dead Trees Giving Off CO2, Massive Stars, Melting Ice & Biodiversity

How insects help release carbon stored in forests, and the upcoming biodiversity summit COP 15.

In this episode:

00:44 Fungi, insects, dead trees and the carbon cycle

Across the world forests play a huge role in the carbon cycle, removing huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But when those trees die, some of that carbon goes back into the air. A new project studies how fast dead wood breaks down in different conditions, and the important role played by insects.

Research Article: Seibold et al.

09:37 Research Highlights

Massive stars make bigger planets, and melting ice moves continents.

Research Highlight: Why gassy planets are bigger around more-massive stars

Research Highlight: So much ice is melting that Earth’s crust is moving

12:04 The UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity

After several delays, the fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, is now slated to take place next year. Even communicating the issues surrounding biodiversity loss has been a challenge, and reaching the targets due to be set at the upcoming meeting will be an even bigger one.

Editorial: The scientific panel on biodiversity needs a bigger role

19:32 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, cannibal cane toads and a pterosaur fossil rescued from smugglers.

Nature News: Australia’s cane toads evolved as cannibals with frightening speed

Research Highlight: A plundered pterosaur reveals the extinct flyer’s extreme headgear

National Geographic: Stunning fossil seized in police raid reveals prehistoric flying reptile’s secrets

Interview: Bill Gates Will Commit $1.5B To Congress’ Enacted Climate Projects

Bill Gates’s investment fund will pledge $1.5 billion for climate projects if Congress enacts an infrastructure bill. The Microsoft co-founder and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told the WSJ how public-private partnerships can spur innovation. Photo: Bill Gates via WSJ

Ecology: Scientists Breed Plants With Fast-Growing Roots To Revitalize Land

Humanity faces major challenges. Could roots hold the answers? It’s possible: Research shows that roots have the potential to provide food for the world’s population, stop climate change and help extract resources in an environmentally friendly way. Plants must withstand periods of drought and heat, as well as flooding, and they use their roots to do this. Roots also help them actively search for nutrients in the soil, while warding off dangers such as pathogens and toxins.

Now, scientists at the research institute Forschungszentrum Jülich are investigating root growth using high-tech methods. The goal is to breed stress-resistant seeds for plants with robust roots. They are not alone: In Sweden, Professor Linda Maria Mårtensson is conducting research on a perennial wheat variety that will ensure higher yields while protecting the soil. Along the world’s coasts, too, roots are a lifesaver.

Coastal ecologist Professor Tjeerd Bouma has discovered that if special grasses are planted in front of dikes, they create a salt marsh that acts as a natural breakwater. Meanwhile, geochemist Dr. Oliver Wiche of the Technical University of Freiberg is researching something known as “phytomining.” He wants to know which plants are best suited for mining metals from the soil. Could this root research give rise to a new, environmentally friendly branch of industry?

Morning News: Crisis In Tunisia, Vatican Trial, Climate-Changed Wine

The president has sacked the prime minister and suspended parliament. It is clear that the country needed a shake-up in its hidebound politics—but is this the right way? 

A sprawling trial starting today involving the most senior Catholic-church official ever indicted is sure to cast light on the Vatican’s murky finances. And how climate change is already changing winemaking.

Ocean Science: Can Kelp Forests Survive Climate Change, Trawler Fishing

Kelp locks up millions of tonnes of carbon globally, provides a nursery for fish and is a buffer against coastal flooding. But climate change, weather and fishing are taking their toll. Now, Mika Peck and his team at the University of Sussex are monitoring kelp off the south coast of the UK, to see if it can recover from the damage done to it by trawling and help improve biodiversity in the area.

Morning News: What A 3° Warmer World Looks Like, Sudan & Liverpool Let Go

It seems ever more certain that global temperatures will sail past limits set in the Paris Agreement. We examine what a world warmed by 3°C would—or will—look like. 

Our correspondent speaks with Sudan’s three most powerful men; will they act in concert or in conflict on the way to democracy? And why Liverpool has been booted from UNESCO’s world-heritage list