Governments at COP24 should focus on building a global electricity grid – Prof. Damien Ernst

Image credit - Kenueone, licensed under CC0 1.0

Governments at the COP24 climate change conference in Katowice, Poland, which ends on 14 December, should tackle fossil-fuel reliance by building a global energy grid that connects renewable energy from all around the world – and the best place to start is with a giant wind farm in Greenland, says Professor Damien Ernst, an energy scientist from … Read more

Why we may be able to save the Greenland ice sheet

Dr Teodóra Pados

Studies of ice melt in the Arctic suggest that world may have a fighting chance of preventing huge sea level changes that would result from the dramatic collapse of the vast ice sheets that cover Greenland, but that more work is needed to understand the wider effects. Greenland has more than two trillion tonnes of … Read more

Earth’s magnetic poles could start to flip. What happens then?

The magnetic field protecting our planet originates deep in the Earth's core but fluctuates in strength over time.

by Jonathan O’Callaghan As Earth’s magnetic shield fails, so do its satellites. First, our communications satellites in the highest orbits go down. Next, astronauts in low-Earth orbit can no longer phone home. And finally, cosmic rays start to bombard every human on Earth. This is a possibility that we may start to face not in … Read more

The Arctic faces substantial changes even if we meet climate targets – Marianne Kroglun

Image credit - Christine Zenino

Melting sea ice, plastic waste, biodiversity loss – the Arctic is facing unprecedented environmental pressure and will continue to change until 2050 even if we meet targets to limit global warming, according to Marianne Kroglund from the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum addressing the challenges faced by Arctic governments and indigenous peoples. Sea ice in … Read more

‘Internet of electricity’ and zero-carbon molecules will help decarbonise Europe – report

The EU should cut greenhouse gases by 80% compared to 1990 levels by 2050, according to the European Commission's low-carbon economy roadmap.

An ‘internet of electricity’, zero-carbon cities and turning European soils into carbon sinks are among a slew of ambitious ideas to decarbonise our society and slash greenhouse gas emissions proposed by environmental experts in a reportpublished on 28 November. ‘The message in our report is that this decarbonisation business is potentially a huge economic opportunity,’ said Professor … Read more

Storing CO2 underground can curb carbon emissions, but is it safe?

Scientists at Hellisheidi geothermal power plant in Iceland have demonstrated a carbon capture and storage cycle at half the cost of previous estimates.

by Jonathan O’ Callaghan At first glance, it almost sounds crazy. Can we really take carbon dioxide emissions from an industrial plant and store them underground? To find out, research is currently taking place to test if such an idea is not only viable but safe, and prove that to the public. This approach is … Read more