Extreme fire weather forecast for Australia and the Mediterranean
Climate / Environment

Extreme fire weather forecast for Australia and the Mediterranean

From Cosmos Magazine, February 7, 2017 (Image: bertknot via Flickr) Extreme wildfires are set to surge as the number of days that foster these catastrophic events climbs from 20% to 50% in disaster-prone regions, a new study warns. David Bowman, a fire ecologist from the University of Tasmania in Australia, and colleagues examined temperature data … Continue reading

Environment / Technology

Solar cooling systems take heat out of summer’s hottest days

From The Guardian, December 20, 2016. (Image: allanjder via Flickr) As Australia settles in for another long hot summer, the demand for air-conditioning is set to surge. In fact, with the World Meteorological Organisation stating that 2016 is likely to be the hottest year on record, it’s no surprise an estimated 1.6bn new air conditioners … Continue reading

Will the internet of things sacrifice or save the environment?
Environment / Technology

Will the internet of things sacrifice or save the environment?

From the Guardian, December 12, 2016. (Image: Kevin Dooley via Flickr) The internet of things (IoT) – that ever-expanding ecosystem of digital sensors, home appliances and wearable smart devices – attracts its fair share of attention. Speculation is rife on how the 23bn-odd (and counting) “things” will improve quality of life, streamline business operations and … Continue reading

Assisted colonisation of Australian tortoise sets controversial precedent
Biology / Climate / Environment

Assisted colonisation of Australian tortoise sets controversial precedent

From ScienceInsider, August 11, 2016 (Photo credit: Gerald Kuchling) As long as it has been known to science, the diminutive western swamp tortoise has been in peril. By the time it was formally named in 1901—using a decades-old museum specimen—Pseudemydura umbrina was presumed extinct. And since it was rediscovered in the 1950s, biologists have struggled … Continue reading

Is this tiny Australian bird an ecosystem engineer?
Biology / Environment

Is this tiny Australian bird an ecosystem engineer?

(Forty-spotted Pardalote photo by Francesco Veronesi via Flickr) The Forty-spotted Pardalote is tiny – the endangered songbird measures just a palm’s width from head to tail. Yet its daily activities could be having a big impact in the Manna gum canopies where they forage, a recent study suggests. Manna gums (Eucalyptus viminalis), along with a … Continue reading

Environment

Natural value: Pricing ecosystems, and its implications for conservation policy

You don’t have to look far to find stories of species or ecosystems under threat. Whether it’s the critically endangered black rhinoceros in Africa, or the local wetlands under threat from urban sprawl, our collective failure to protect the world’s natural heritage can seem exasperating. But in a world where resources to put toward protection … Continue reading