Removing old structures from rivers could restore vital water flow

Removing older unused barriers brings environmental benefits, such as helping vital nutrients flow downstream, says Prof Garcia de Leaniz. Image credit - Zdeněk Chalupský, licensed under Pixabay licence

Rivers in Europe are so congested with concrete obstructions like weirs, bridges and other man-made barriers that they no longer flow freely, which harms the wider environment. Removing these blockages could restore these vital aquatic ecosystems to their former glory. Countless dams, bridges, weirs, and fords have sprung up over the centuries along Europe’s rivers … Read more

‘Reverse fridges’ and insulated walls – how to make a house carbon neutral

Retrofitting of houses on a large scale needs to start now to meet 2050 net zero energy target.Image credit - REMOURBAN

by Jonathan O’Callaghan As the world moves towards a carbon neutral future, many different areas from industry to manufacturing are working to reduce their emissions. But scientists are beginning to look at a different area – houses – to work out if it’s possible to reduce emissions from Europe’s homes to zero by retrofitting on … Read more

Shoppers ‘can’t afford’ energy efficient cars, homes – researchers

Switching to more efficient appliances can save people money over time, although they are often more expensive to buy. Image credit - Photo Mix

by: Alex Whiting Europeans can slash their fuel bills and have a significant impact on curbing global greenhouse gas emissions by buying more energy efficient cars, homes or even fridges – but many do not because of higher initial cost of green products, mistrust in EU energy ratings, and lack of awareness of long-term savings, … Read more

Why meerkats and mongooses have a cooperative approach to raising their pups

Mongooses, like humans, are among the few mammals that go to war with each another. Image credit - Harry Marshall

Raising children can be a tough job, especially when doing it alone, but some animals like meerkats and mongooses work together to raise their young. Studies of these cooperative creatures are revealing how this highly social behaviour evolved and is shedding light on the roots of our own species’ collaborative abilities. Living in the flat, … Read more

Aeroplanes could cut emissions by flying on waste cooking oil fuel

Biofuels have the potential to reduce aviation emissions by 90%, according to the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.

Blending biofuels and kerosene to create greener jet fuel has shown promising results in test flights, but more work needs to be done to ensure biofuels burn cleanly and can be produced in a large-scale, low-cost way, says Dr Chong Cheng Tung, associate professor at the China-UK Low Carbon College of Shanghai Jiao Tong University … Read more

Small farms produce more food than statistics show

Recording the true production levels of small farms could help farmers access greater support, according to researchers.

Small farms sometimes get overlooked as a feasible solution for feeding a growing population, but researchers say they should be given greater support, with some producing more food than official statistics report. While small farms can play an important role in supporting rural economies, many owners struggle to earn a decent living which can lead … Read more