Pandemic freight emissions reached 2030 target in just months. How do we make the changes stick?

During the coronavirus pandemic, railways have been used more heavily to transport Europe's freight. Image credit - Liberaler Humanist/Wikimedia, licensed CC BY 4.0 International

The pandemic left a visible imprint on car, bus and bicycle use – and at its height brought about cleaner city air – but it also disrupted another, less obvious but highly polluting sector: freight transport. Coronavirus plunged millions of planes, trucks, trains and ships into a massive experiment, disrupting supply chains as national borders … Read more

Q&A: Plate tectonics is fundamental to understanding Earth’s evolution – but big questions remain

The division of the Earth’s surface into seven major mobile plates is fundamental to our planet’s uniqueness, creating a habitable environment and possibly the conditions under which life itself originated. The theory of plate tectonics is 50 years old, but there are many puzzles left to answer, says Dr Kate Rychert, who studies the geology … Read more

Q&A: How physics could explain why people respond differently to coronavirus infection

The immune system is constantly hedging its bets to rearrange itself to protect from future infection, says physicist Aleksandra Walczak. Image credit - Ketut Subiyanto/pexels.com

Some people’s immune systems contain pre-existing protection against coronavirus, indicating that they have encountered a similar infection to Covid-19 before, according to Dr Aleksandra Walczak, a physicist at École Normale Supérieure in Paris, France. Her team uses statistical physics to model the human immune system and try and predict how it will behave. She is currently … Read more