Why climate change could make Mediterranean atmospheric ‘meteotsunamis’ more common

Rogue waves that strike without warning across the Mediterranean and elsewhere may become more frequent as the climate changes, early-stage research suggests. A meteotsunami is a form of tsunami generated by atmospheric conditions, and it can strike any coastline adjacent to a sea floor with a long, shallow shelf. They are not as massive, nor … Read more

Q&A: Why unconventional resources are key to expanding geothermal energy use

The smouldering heat generated during the formation of our planet and the continuous decay of radioactive material lies trapped within the Earth’s crust, just waiting to be tapped to satisfy humanity’s insatiable demand for heat and electricity. It sounds deceptively simple — drill a well into the Earth and bring piping steam or hot water … Read more

‘Impossible to adapt’: Surprisingly fast ice-melts in past raise fears about sea level rise

Studies of ancient beaches and fossilised coral reefs suggest sea levels have the potential to rise far more quickly than models currently predict, according to geologists who have been studying past periods of warming. At one point in a comparable period they were rising at three metres per century, or 30mm a year, according to … Read more

What happens below Earth’s surface when the most powerful earthquakes occur

At 03:34 local time on 27 February 2010, Chile was struck by one of the most powerful earthquakes in a century. The shock triggered a tsunami, which devastated coastal communities. The combined events killed more than 500 people. So powerful was the shaking that, by one NASA estimate, it shifted Earth’s axis of spin by a full 8 … Read more

Sponge parks and vertical gardens – how cities are using nature to overcome extreme weather

In January 2021, Storm Christoph pummelled the United Kingdom with heavy rains and the threat of unmanageable runoff. But in flood-prone Manchester, a newly developed park was proving its worth. West Gorton Park had ‘drunk’ the rainwater, releasing it into the sewer systems over time rather than all at once – slowing the deluge of water that … Read more

New materials to make ships more sustainable and less noisy for marine life

Ships have a significant environmental impact during building, operation and when they’re scrapped, but new approaches and composite materials to replace steel – still popular due to its strength and low cost – could make vessels more sustainable, recyclable, and less noisy for marine animals. Using ships to transport goods contributes significantly to global greenhouse … Read more