‘It eats everything’ – the new breed of wildfire that’s impossible to predict

Image credit - Pablo Trincado, licensed under CC BY 2.0

By Annette Ekin We’re fighting a different kind of wildfire whose behaviour experts are struggling to predict. Climate change and negligent forest management are causing higher-intensity, faster-moving fires that can generate enough energy to evolve into erratic firestorms, known as pyroCbs, in the face of which first responders can do little. ‘Traditionally we could predict the fire behaviour and the … Read more

Our top 10 science facts from 2018

Image credit - Horizon

By Jack Cowls From arsenic candies to underground winter forest fires, Horizon uncovered some fascinating facts while researching our articles. Here are our ten favourites from 2018. 1. Sleep-deprived brains may be asleep and awake at the same time. 2. Sea anemone sting cells accelerate faster than bullets. 3. Prehistoric caves were chosen for their echoes. 4. The outermost part of the … Read more

How to protect the Arctic as melting ice opens new shipping routes

Increased maritime traffic raises the risks of oil spills in the Arctic.

by Gareth Willmer Early this year, the Eduard Toll set a record: laden with liquefied natural gas, the tanker was the first commercial vessel to cross the Arctic in winter without an icebreaker. This milestone in shipping may be a sign of things to come, with maritime activity expected to climb as global warming melts the region’s sea ice – declining … Read more

Arctic permafrost might contain ‘sleeping giant’ of world’s carbon emissions

Image credit - Prof. Igor Semiletov.

As temperatures rise in the Arctic, permafrost, or frozen ground, is thawing. As it does, greenhouse gases trapped within it are being released into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide and methane, leading to previously underestimated problems with ocean acidification and potential mercury poisoning. About one quarter of the region is covered in permafrost, which … 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

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