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Environmental

02 Dec 2019

Energy advances open the door to more aggressive climate policies

An international research team has called for a more sober discourse around climate change prospects, following an extensive reassessment of climate change’s progress and its mitigation. They argue that climate change models have understated potential warming’s speed and runaway potential, while the models that relate climate science to consequences, choices and policies have understated the...

25 Nov 2019

Machine learning and artificial intelligence to aid climate change research and preparedness

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are expected to provide significant new insights into understanding climate change and how to fight it, according to a study published today in Environmental Research Letters. The study, led by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, UK, provides a compelling argument that machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) can...

22 Nov 2019

Increase in cannabis cultivation or residential development could impact water resources, study shows

Cannabis cultivation could have a significant effect on groundwater and surface water resources when combined with residential use, evidence from a new study suggests. Researchers in Canada and the US investigated potential reductions in streamflow, caused by groundwater pumping for cannabis irrigation, in the Navarro River in Mendocino County, California, and contextualized it by comparing...

12 Nov 2019

Superconducting wind turbine chalks up first test success

A superconducting rotor has been successfully tested on an active wind turbine for the first time. The EcoSwing consortium designed, developed, manufactured a full-size superconducting generator for a 3.6 megawatt wind turbine, and field-tested it in Thyborøn, Denmark. They report their results in the IOP Publishing journal Superconductor Science and Technology. Corresponding author Anne Bergen,...

08 Nov 2019

Aviation emissions’ impacts on air quality larger than on climate, study finds

New research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has quantified the climate and air quality impacts of aviation, broken down by emission type, altitude and location. The MIT team found that growth in aviation causes twice as much damage to air quality as to the climate. Writing today in IOP Publishing’s Environmental Research Letters,...

13 Sep 2019

Study offers verdict for China’s efforts on coal emissions

Researchers from China, France and the USA have evaluated China’s success in stemming emissions from its coal-fired power plants (CPPs). CPPs are one of the main contributors to air pollution in China, and their proliferation over the last 20 years has had significant impacts on air quality and public health. These impacts led authorities to...

26 Jul 2019

Paris Agreement hampered by inconsistent pledges, new research finds

Some countries’ Paris Climate Agreement pledges may not be as ambitious as they appear, a new study has found. The Paris Agreement takes a bottom-up approach to tackling climate change, with countries submitting pledges in the form of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to greenhouse gas emissions. However, writing today in Environmental Research Letters, researchers from...

21 Jun 2019

Post-Soviet food system changes led to greenhouse gas reductions

Changes in agriculture, trade, food production and consumption after the collapse of the Soviet Union led to a large reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a new study has found. From 1991 to 2011, there was a net emissions reduction of 7.61 gigatons (Gt) of carbon dioxide equivalents – the same as one quarter of the...

13 Jun 2019

Selective logging will not be enough to sustain timber production in Amazonia

Amazonian forests are unlikely to provide enough timber to meet current demand over the long term, even with the use of improved logging practices. That is a key finding of a new study led by the Tropical managed Forests Observatory (TmFO), published today in Environmental Research Letters. Dr Camille Piponiot, junior scientist from the University...

07 Jun 2019

Could climate change make Siberia more habitable?

Large parts of Asian Russia could become more habitable by the late 21st century due to climate change, new research has found. A study team from the Sukachev Institute of Forest, Krasnoyarsk Federal Research Center, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, and the National Institute of Aerospace, USA, used current and predicted climate scenarios to...

03 May 2019

How could a changing climate affect human fertility?

Human adaptation to climate change may include changes in fertility, according to a new study by an international group of researchers. They found that, through its economic effects, climate change could have a substantial impact on fertility, as people decide how much time and money they devote to child-rearing, and whether to use those resources...