Peacebuilding in conflict zones demands people-centric approach

The end of a conflict such as World War I marks only the beginning of a restoration period.

The challenge of how to rebuild society following conflict is a difficult question that arises all too frequently, but recent studies have demonstrated that putting people at the centre of the process and enabling cooperation on politically neutral issues can help build peace. When the entire social fabric has been torn up and everything from … Read more

Climate sensitivity – reducing the uncertainty of uncertainty

New research aims at making climate change prediction more accurate.

Global warming is a reality – but just how bad will it be? A study published in January 2018 claims to halve the uncertainty around how much our planet’s temperature will change in response to rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, potentially giving governments more confidence to prepare for the future. The results suggest that, when it … Read more

Sherlock Drones – automated investigators tackle toxic crime scenes

Using drones to gather information and samples from a hazardous scene can help incident commanders make critical decisions.

Crimes that involve chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) materials pose a deadly threat not just to the target of the attack but to innocent bystanders and police investigators. Often, these crimes may involve unusual circumstances or they are terrorist-related incidents, such as an assassination attempt or the sending of poisons through the mail. In the … Read more

War can destroy cultural heritage twice – in conflict and in clean-up

Proper documentation of cultural heritage is the key to restoration projects, says Dr Margarete van Ess.

People can inadvertently destroy cultural heritage for a second time when cleaning up conflict sites after a war ends, according to archaeologist Dr Margarete van Ess, who says that databases and education are the best basis for safeguarding sites for the future. She is director of the Orient Department at the German Archaeological Institute and … Read more

Warmer, saltier polar water could change global ocean currents

When ice shelves melt, they dump freshwater into the sea which lightens the salty water.

Melting ice shelves are changing the ocean’s chemistry at the South Pole and the result could be a change in global currents and increased glacial melt, according to scientists who are creating maps to feed into climate change models. At the North and South Poles, cold dense water sinks, powering the so-called global ocean conveyor belt, … Read more

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