How hybrid electric and fuel aircraft could green air travel

Making aviation sustainable is critical if the EU is to reach its goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2050. Image credit - Nur Andi Ravsanjani Gusma/ Pexels, public domain

With air traffic set to increase 5% every year until 2030, scientists are looking at how to make aeroplanes more sustainable. But with current batteries making electric aircraft far too heavy, hybrid fuel and electric models could point the way forward for greener air travel – and could become airborne within 15 years. Aviation contributes … Read more

Cloud shapes and formations impact global warming – but we still don’t understand them

Tropical thunderstorm clouds are unique because they self-organise even when the conditions below and above them are uniform, and do so with 'memories' of past formations. Image credit - NASA Johnson Space Center

by Sarah Wild Above the Atlantic Ocean, puffy white clouds scud across the sky buffeted by invisible trade winds. They are not ‘particularly big, impressive or extended’, says Dr Sandrine Bony, a climatologist and research director at the French National Centre for Scientific Research. ‘But they are the most ubiquitous clouds on Earth.’ Clouds are one … Read more

Q&A: Why clouds are still ‘one of the biggest uncertainties’ in climate change

Clouds are important from a climate point of view for how they reflect and absorb sunlight, according to Professor Pier Siebesma, an atmospheric physicist. Image credit - Pier Siebesma

They might be beautiful at times, but clouds are still one of the biggest sources of uncertainty in understanding how the climate will change due to global warming, explains Professor Pier Siebesma, an atmospheric physicist at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands. Enormous field studies of clouds and high-resolution computer simulations are … Read more

Future wearable electronic clothing could be charged by our own body heat

Wearable electronics powered by the user's own body heat could help tackle the issue of how to storage energy. Image credit - under CC0

by Sarah Wild Thanks to rapid computing developments in the last decade and the miniaturisation of electronic components, people can, for example, track their movements and monitor their health in real time by wearing tiny computers. Researchers are now looking at how best to power these devices by turning to the user’s own body heat and working … Read more