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

Matchmaking corals from different colonies could reduce bleaching events

Planting baby corals that are bred to be resistant to heat stress can boost a reef's tolerance to warmer waters. Image credit - James Guest

Breeding together corals that have naturally high heat tolerance and planting them on coral reefs could increase the reefs’ resilience to climate change and reduce the impact of bleaching events, according to Dr James Guest, a coral reef ecologist from Newcastle University, UK. He is studying this ‘assisted evolution’ approach to coral conservation and examining … Read more

Why bogs may be key to fighting climate change

Peatlands occupy roughly 2% or 3% of the land’s surface but we don’t know how deep they go. Image credit - Marisa04/ Pixabay

by Caleb Davies There are, arguably, only two interesting facts about bogs. The first is that some people have a jolly good time swimming through them, notably at the World Bog Snorkelling Championships held each year in central Wales, UK. The second is that they could help save the world. Bogs, more properly known as … Read more

Changing climate is narrowing options for migrating birds

The volatility of seasons is affecting the breeding patterns of Brent geese, a migratory bird species. Image credit - Flickr/milo bostock, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Across an entire desert or ocean, migratory birds make some of the most extreme journeys found in nature, but there are still huge gaps in our understanding of how they manage to travel these vast distances and what a changing climate means for their migration patterns. ‘Some species of migrants might be affected by a … Read more

Why people’s misperceptions about climate change, vaccinations are so hard to shake

Misperceptions can be difficult to tackle because they become tied to people's identities, says Prof. Reifler. Image credit - Pixabay/ congerdesign, licensed under Pixabay license

by Kelly Oakes The most powerful source of misperceptions about important issues such as immigration and climate change are false beliefs rooted in people’s political or social preferences, but having people who question authority is also important for a society, according to Professor Jason Reifler, a political scientist at the University of Exeter, UK. Prof. … Read more

‘The biggest threat to our oceans is that we’ve taken them for granted’

There is still uncertainty around the knock-on effects of abrupt ocean changes. Image credit - Pixnio, CC0

‘The biggest threat to our oceans is that we’ve taken them for granted’ IPCC report and oceans take centre stage at EU research event in Brussels. by Joanna Roberts People need to be persuaded that the ocean is not a problem or dangerous for humans, but that we are a problem for the oceans, according to former … Read more