Mining sewage for fertilisers and energy to prevent water shortages

Image Credit - Danilo Pinzon / World Bank (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Transforming the dirty water we flush down the drain into new products, such as clean energy and fertilisers, can help prevent reservoirs from running dry and change the way this valuable resource is viewed. Currently, water use risks leaving half the world facing severe scarcity by 2030 as demand outstrips supply. The linear way our societies … Read more

Biodiversity loss in the oceans can be reversed through habitat restoration

Image credit - Fan mussel (Pinna nobilis) by Arnaud Abadie is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Activities such as laying gas pipelines, trawling for fish, drilling for oil, and even burying internet cables in the deep sea, are destroying marine ecosystems. But studies have shown that reintroducing seaweed and corals to these habitats could ward off the worst effects – and recover marine life. Biodiversity loss is considered to be one … Read more

The business of biodiversity: can we put a value on nature?

Image credit - Luca Bravo/ Unsplash

By Gareth Willmer, from Horizon Nature provides people with everything from food and water to timber, textiles, medicinal resources and pollination of crops. Now, a new approach aims to measure exactly what a specific ecosystem supplies in order to incentivise decision-makers and businesses to help combat biodiversity loss. The concept of quantifying these so-called ecosystem services, which … Read more

Sloths: how did two different animals wind up looking so similar?

Image Credit - Flickr/Harry and Rowena Kennedy CC BY-NC-ND 4.0/ CC BY 3.0

Sloths and guppies appear to have little in common – one is an arboreal mammal living in the slow lane, while the other is a tiny tropical fish with a frantic existence. Yet both could hold the key to better understanding a fundamental process of evolution. Hanging lazily from tree branches where they barely move … Read more

Sixth mass extinction could destroy life as we know it– biodiversity expert

Image credit - Paul VanDerWerf, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Alarming declines in the number of insects, vertebrates and plant species around the world have raised fears that we are in the midst of a sixth major extinction that could cause a collapse of the natural ecosystems we rely upon to survive. Urgent international action is needed to halt this potentially catastrophic decline in biodiversity, … Read more

Noisier waters linked to behaviour change, hearing loss in whales

Image Credit - Flickr/spezz CC BY 2.0

Studies investigating whale-watching boats and the inner ears of marine mammals could soon provide new insight into the effects of noisier oceans on cetaceans – dolphins, whales and porpoises – who depend on their hearing for navigating, finding food and communicating underwater. Noise in our oceans is increasing due to human activities such as shipping, … Read more