Bushfires: can ecosystems recover from such dramatic losses of biodiversity?

© CSIRO
The sheer scale and intensity of the Australian bushfire crisis have led to apocalyptic scenes making the front pages of newspapers the world over. An estimated 10 million hectares (100,000 sq km) of land have burned since 1 July 2019. At least 28 people have died. And over a billion animals are estimated to have been killed to date. Of course, the actual toll will be much higher if major animal groups, such as insects, are included in these esti...
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Fighting Humanity's 'Great Derangement': How Art Can Help Us Solve Climate Change

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In the many discussions and debates going on around the world about how we can fix climate change and leave a better world for our children, the subject often turns to education. The conventional wisdom that usually holds is that children (and adults too!) need to learn more science and economics, as these are the two academic disciplines that have played the largest role in increased carbon emissions, and play the largest role in proposing solut...
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Atmospheric river storms can drive costly flooding – and climate change is making them stronger

Atmospheric River
Ask people to name the world's largest river, and most will probably guess that it's the Amazon, the Nile or the Mississippi. In fact, some of Earth's largest rivers are in the sky – and they can produce powerful storms, like those currently soaking the Pacific Northwest. Atmospheric rivers are long, narrow bands of moisture in the atmosphere that extend from the tropics to higher latitudes. These rivers in the sky can transport 15 times the volu...
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Wildlife are exposed to more pollution than previously thought

Wilderness
Sometimes, pollution is blatantly obvious: the iridescent slick of an oil spill, goopy algae washing up on a beach or black smoke belching from a smokestack. But, more often than not, pollution is more inconspicuous. Our air, water, land and wildlife are tainted with thousands of chemicals that we cannot see, smell or touch. It may not come as a surprise then, that this unnoticed pollution isn't considered the important threat to wildlife that it...
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Why we’re involved in a project in Africa to promote edible insects

Edible Insects
There is a wealth of indigenous knowledge about capturing and eating insects in sub-Saharan Africa. But the development of edible insects as a food industry has been very slow, despite its many potential benefits. Sustainability is one. Insects have a small carbon and water footprint. Studies show that insect farming emits less carbon and methane gas than large livestock like cattle and pigs. Much less water is needed to produce the same amount o...
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China’s ‘sponge cities’ aim to re-use 70% of rainwater – here’s how

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Asian cities are struggling to accommodate rapid urban migration, and development is encroaching on flood-prone areas. Recent flooding in Mumbai was blamed in part on unregulated developmentof wetlands, while hastily built urban areas are being affected by flooding across India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. This is not a trend only in developing countries; floods in Houston, USA, highlighted the risks of development in environmentally sensitive and low...
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What is a ‘mass extinction’ and are we in one now?

Tiger
For more than 3.5 billion years, living organisms have thrived, multiplied and diversified to occupy every ecosystem on Earth. The flip side to this explosion of new species is that species extinctions have also always been part of the evolutionary life cycle. But these two processes are not always in step. When the loss of species rapidly outpaces the formation of new species, this balance can be tipped enough to elicit what are known as "mass e...
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