Mobile forests could help cities cope with climate change

Cities across Europe are trialling schemes such as roof gardens and ‘mobile forests’ to embed more nature into urban areas in an effort to protect their citizens from climate change events like heatwaves, floods and droughts. Cities are becoming harder places to live in as climate change brings higher temperatures, water scarcity and flooding that … Read more

Removing old structures from rivers could restore vital water flow

Removing older unused barriers brings environmental benefits, such as helping vital nutrients flow downstream, says Prof Garcia de Leaniz. Image credit - Zdeněk Chalupský, licensed under Pixabay licence

Rivers in Europe are so congested with concrete obstructions like weirs, bridges and other man-made barriers that they no longer flow freely, which harms the wider environment. Removing these blockages could restore these vital aquatic ecosystems to their former glory. Countless dams, bridges, weirs, and fords have sprung up over the centuries along Europe’s rivers … Read more

‘Reverse fridges’ and insulated walls – how to make a house carbon neutral

Retrofitting of houses on a large scale needs to start now to meet 2050 net zero energy target.Image credit - REMOURBAN

by Jonathan O’Callaghan As the world moves towards a carbon neutral future, many different areas from industry to manufacturing are working to reduce their emissions. But scientists are beginning to look at a different area – houses – to work out if it’s possible to reduce emissions from Europe’s homes to zero by retrofitting on … Read more

Sharing seeds could help farmers grow better food

A seed-sharing network would allow European farmers to manage their own seed resources rather than depend on what big agribusiness want to sell. Image credit - Pixabay/ StockSnap, licensed under pixabay license

Tapping into the genetic diversity contained within the seeds of wild relatives and forgotten crop plants could help farmers decrease their dependency on global agribusiness and grow food better suited to local conditions. Since the start of the 20th century, global demand for certain fruit and vegetables has seen farmers shift away from using local … Read more

Coming to a farm near you: The humble microbe boosting Europe’s food industry

Analysing chicken genetics could help identify which strains are more responsive to a particular microbe. Image credit - Pexels, licensed under the pexels licence

By: Alex Whiting Farmers who want to produce bigger chickens, fewer greenhouse gas-filled cow burps or healthier animals are increasingly able to turn to one tiny source: microbes. The microbes – which include a plethora of bacteria, viruses and fungi – have existed for billions of years and live everywhere including in people’s and animals’ … Read more

People in cities hold the key to ensuring a sustainable future

Cities have a set of capacities to address climate change that other levels of government do not have, according to Prof. Harriet Bulkeley. Image credit - Pixabay/Leonardo Alves, licensed under Pixabay License

Cities have a critical role to play in fighting climate change but hard conversations lie ahead about the best way to achieve the transition to sustainability, according to Harriet Bulkeley, professor of geography at Durham University, UK. What makes cities so pivotal in fighting climate change? ‘It has taken the world quite a long time … Read more