Warmer, saltier polar water could change global ocean currents

When ice shelves melt, they dump freshwater into the sea which lightens the salty water.

Melting ice shelves are changing the ocean’s chemistry at the South Pole and the result could be a change in global currents and increased glacial melt, according to scientists who are creating maps to feed into climate change models. At the North and South Poles, cold dense water sinks, powering the so-called global ocean conveyor belt, … Read more

Turning landfill into energy

Landfill is both ugly and polluting. But a new breed of technology promises to make it a thing of the past, transforming a huge portion of landfill material into clean gas. It’s thanks to a process called gasification, which involves turning carbon-based materials into gas by heating them to a high temperature but without burning … Read more

Ancient farming techniques could help mitigate climate change

Geographically defined products such as Parma ham help to assess the social and cultural value of a landscape.

High technology is being deployed to uncover long-forgotten irrigation systems and other features concealed in landscapes that farmers developed hundreds of years ago to nurture their land. By studying landscapes of the past and how they’re used today, scientists can draw on Europe’s cultural heritage to help tackle challenges such as climate change and rural exodus. Professor José … Read more

Ultrafine pollution particles create air of menace

As many as 6.5 million premature deaths every year are attributed to air pollution, according to the World Health Organization.

An air quality study has for the first time detected nano-sized particles of air pollution in children’s urine. With a diameter of just 100 nanometers – a thousandth of the width of a human hair – these ultrafine particles are the smallest particles found in air pollution and have been linked to heart disease and respiratory conditions … Read more

EU puts its ‘foot on the accelerator’ of battery research

The transport sector accounts for 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The European Union is scaling up its investment in battery technology with the announcement of a €10 million open competition to design a better battery for electric vehicles and a €50 million cash injection to develop Europe’s largest green battery factory. Batteries will play a vital role in helping to achieve the EU’s goal of … Read more

Urban mining to reduce environmental footprint of consumer goods

A machine that can disassemble two mobile phones per minute could help give raw materials a second life.

Mining isn’t the only way to extract valuable metals. Soon, they could increasingly be recovered from waste, reducing the need for new raw materials and helping Europe’s transition to a low-carbon economy. In the EU, many raw materials needed in industry, from car making to medical implants, are imported from abroad as they aren’t available … Read more