Latest Research & Innovation

Henderson Island: the remote paradise with the world's biggest plastic problem

In the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, far from the urban, developed world, there is a small, lush, green island with white sand beaches. However, this uninhabited, remote corner of the tropics—Henderson Island—also has a trash problem. Read more »

Aquaculture is main driver of mangrove losses

Mangroves provide coastal protection and habitat for several species. Shahnoor Habib Munmun | Wikimedia Commons

By Dyna Rochmyaningsih

Expanding aquaculture in South-East Asia over the last two decades has been the main driver of mangrove loss in the world, says a study published in PLOS One this month (June 2017).
Read more »

Green space – how much is enough, and what's the best way to deliver it?

Providing green space can deliver health, social and environmental benefits for all urban residents – few other public health interventions can achieve all of this. (© Anne Cleary)

Half of the world’s people now live in urban areas. This creates competition for resources and increases pressure on already limited green space.

Many urban areas are still experiencing active degradation or removal of green space. To reverse this trend and ensure the multiple benefits of green space are realised, we urgently need to move toward on-ground action. Read more »

Global stocktake shows the 43 greenhouse gases driving global warming

A wide range of industrial processes have released greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Paulo Resende/Shutterstock.com

The most comprehensive collection of atmospheric greenhouse gas measurements, published today, confirms the relentless rise in some of the most important greenhouse gases.

The data show that today’s aggregate warming effect of carbon dioxide (CO₂), methane (CH₄) and nitrous oxide (N₂O) is higher than at any time over the past 800,000 years, according to ice core records. Read more »

We need to get rid of carbon in the atmosphere, not just reduce emissions


Image 20170405 5739 mj4uv3

Humans have burned 420 billion tonnes of carbon since the start of the industrial revolution. Half of it is still in the atmosphere.
Reuters/Stringer

Read more »

Neonicotinoid insecticides linked to wild bee decline across England

English oil seed rape field (© Heather Lowther / Centre for Ecology & Hydrology)

Exposure to neonicotinoid seed treated oilseed rape crops has been linked to long-term population decline of wild bee species across the English countryside, according to research published in Nature Communications. Read more »

Greater biodiversity in grasslands leads to higher levels of ecosystem services

A meadow in Thuringia: one of the 150 grasslands where research was carried out. (credit: WWU/Klaus Vakentin)

The more it swarms, crawls and flies the better for humans, who benefit from the varied services provided for free by nature. This is the finding of a study by more than 60 researchers from a number of universities, including the Institute of Plant Sciences at the University of Bern, Switzerland, and the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, in Germany. Read more »

‘Ecosystem canaries’ provide early warning signs of catastrophic changes to ecosystems

Study co-author Enlou Zhang collecting a sediment core in Lake Erhai for analysis of midges

New research, led by the University of Southampton, demonstrates that ‘ecosystem canaries’ can provide early warning signals of large, potentially catastrophic, changes or tipping points in ecosystems.

Like canaries that coal miners used to check for poisonous gasses deep underground, ‘ecosystem canaries’ are species that are often the first to disappear from a stressed ecosystem. Their vanishing can be linked to changes in the functioning of ecosystems, which can serve as a warning that a tipping point is approaching. Read more »

Unexpected Complexity in Coral

Underwater photo of the coral Acropora tenuis

Coral reefs are delicate ecosystems, which are endangered by climate change and human activities. The restoration of these underwater environments is typically carried out by transplanting corals from healthy reefs to compromised ones. This practice can be problematic, as it overlooks the local characteristics of each reef, and may reduce genetic diversity. Read more »

Sitting in traffic jams is officially bad for you

With millions of motorists in the UK set to hit the road for the bank holiday weekend, drivers have been urged to close windows and turn off fans while in traffic jams to avoid breathing in dangerously high levels of air pollution. Latest research from the University of Surrey has shown that simple adjustment to your car’s ventilation system while sitting in traffic jams can greatly affect your exposure to toxic fumes by up to 76%.

Syndicate content