The paints that eat pollutants and heat homes

Light-activated catalysts that can neutralise airborne pollutants are being embedded in paint with a view to cleaning up city air. Image credit - AM Technology

Applying a coat of paint on the walls of a house may soon help to heat it, saving energy and reducing CO2 emissions. It could also clean the air that we breathe, breaking down chemicals and pollutants, and eliminating harmful pathogens. In Europe, half of cities’ annual energy consumption goes to heating and cooling. Despite the EU’s … Read more

Studying Asian glaciers provides glimpse into future of extremes

The region of High Mountain Asia, which includes the Karakoram mountain range, is known as the third pole of the Earth because of the scale of its ice fields. Image credit - Tahakhan021, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Scientists may have solved a 25-year-old puzzle about the mysterious behaviour of certain glaciers in High Mountain Asia. In most of this region, they are shrinking; but in the northwest, they are growing. High Mountain Asia includes ranges that span the borders of Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, India, China and Pakistan. The rate of glacier melting … Read more

Trees and doodlebugs emit methane – the question is, how?

Monitoring the larvae of doodlebugs could tell scientists how their activities fit with methane flux measurements. Image credit - Carolyn-Monika Görres

Trees and insects may play a significant role in the emission of methane – a potent greenhouse gas – and improving our understanding of exactly how this happens could help in targeting more effective ways to fight global warming. Because methane has more than 80 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide over 20 years, … Read more

‘Most ice on Earth is very close to melting conditions’

Even if we change our emissions now, we are committed to a lot of ice melt, says Prof. Kääb. Image credit - Sharada Prasad CS, licensed under CC BY 2.0

We need to understand how glaciers are shrinking in order to better adapt to climate change impacts such as changes to water supply, landslides and avalanches, says Professor Andreas Kääb, a glacier expert from the University of Oslo in Norway.  Measuring ice melt and the unprecedented changes in our cryosphere – the frozen parts of … Read more

What’s the most urgent action we need to take in 2020?

The 2020s should be a turning point where the world averts impending disaster, according to Sandrine Dixon-Declève. Image credit - Pxfuel, licensed under CC0

by Annette Ekin Declaring a global planetary emergency, improving sub-volcanic imaging to predict eruptions and developing artificial intelligence that works for humans are some of the urgent actions and research that experts in different fields want to see in 2020. Horizon asked a selection of scientists featured in the magazine last year for their opinion on … Read more

Our top 12 science facts from 2019

Image credits - PlanetMallika/ Pixabay; Pablo Trincado, licensed under CC BY 2.0; Image credit - Pixnio/ Janice Haney Carr, Jeff Hageman, M.H.S, USCDCP, licensed under CC0; Virpi Lummaa

by Josefine Kroll From bacterial invisibility cloaks to unexpected dinosaur colors, Horizon uncovered some fascinating facts in 2019. Here are our 12 favourites. 1. Meerkats live in cooperative societies where only one female is allowed to breed  2. There may be no free-flowing rivers left in Europe 3. Our idea of dinosaur colours may be completely wrong 4. Elephants … Read more