News

Terrawatch: is Earth’s core going rusty?

Terrawatch: is Earth’s core going rusty?

The Guardian, 25 May 2022
www.theguardian.com/science/series/terrawatch

Rusty bits on Earth’s core could explain how the atmosphere became oxygenated

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Achoo! The hay fever season lasts longer than ever. Here’s what we can do about it

Achoo! The hay fever season lasts longer than ever. Here’s what we can do about it

The Guardian, 17 May 2022
www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/may/17/achoo-the-hay-fever-season-lasts-longer-than-ever-heres-what-we-can-do-about-it

The climate crisis is giving trees a bigger window to spread their pollen, but cleaner air and better early warning forecasts can help protect us

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Circular cities experience more rain than square or triangular ones

Circular cities experience more rain than square or triangular ones

New Scientist, 11 May 2022
www.newscientist.com/article/2319455-circular-cities-experience-more-rain-than-square-or-triangular-ones/

The shape of a city can influence the amount of rainfall it gets, because circular cities are better at mixing air fronts together

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Colorado conifers given ‘Fitbits’ to measure snow cover

Colorado conifers given ‘Fitbits’ to measure snow cover

The Guardian, 5 May 2022
www.theguardian.com/news/2022/may/05/colorado-conifers-given-fitbits-to-measure-snow-cover

Calculating snow caught in trees by measuring their swaying is hoped to help monitor snowstorms

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Pottery’s Origin Stories

Archaeology Magazine, 1 May 2022
www.archaeology.org/issues

Why did hunter-gatherers make the world’s first pots?

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Massive underwater avalanches deliver pollutants to deep sea

Massive underwater avalanches deliver pollutants to deep sea

The Guardian, 27 April 2022
www.theguardian.com/science/2022/apr/27/massive-underwater-avalanches-deliver-pollutants-to-deep-sea

Research shows largest ‘turbidity currents’ can carry more sediment than the annual output of all the world’s rivers combined over time

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Lightning-sparked forest fires set to increase in North America

Lightning-sparked forest fires set to increase in North America

The Guardian, 14 April 2022
www.theguardian.com/news/2022/apr/14/lightning-sparked-forest-fires-set-to-increase-in-north-america

Weather conditions play huge role in which strikes start blazes in boreal forests of Canada and Alaska, research suggests

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Terrawatch: Rare gas points to deep nebula origins for Earth

Terrawatch: Rare gas points to deep nebula origins for Earth

The Guardian, 9 April 2022
www.theguardian.com/science/2022/apr/09/terrawatch-rare-gas-deep-nebula-origins-earth-isotope-helium-big-bang

Most of rare isotope of helium found on mid-ocean ridges dates to big bang, providing clue to planet’s formation

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When will the world reach 1.5C of global heating?

When will the world reach 1.5C of global heating?

The Guardian, 5 April 2022
www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/apr/05/when-will-world-reach-global-heating-limit-ipcc-climate-crisis

With 1.5C of heating now all but inevitable, scientists say the focus must turn to mitigation measures

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Europe faces a future of extreme droughts

Europe faces a future of extreme droughts

The Guardian, 1 April 2022
www.theguardian.com/news/2022/apr/01/europe-faces-a-future-of-extreme-droughts

Mitigation and adaptation measures are going to be crucial for future farming on the continent

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Land of the Picts

Land of the Picts

Archaeology Magazine, 1 September 2021
www.archaeology.org/issues/441-2109/letter-from/9932-scotland-picts

New excavations reveal the truth behind the legend of these fearsome northern warriors

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Drop in pollution may bring hotter weather and heavier monsoons

Drop in pollution may bring hotter weather and heavier monsoons

The Guardian, 13 May 2020
www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/13/drop-in-pollution-may-bring-hotter-weather-and-heavier-monsoons

Scientists say fewer particles and polluting gases means more sunlight can reach Earth’s surface

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Life in a carbon neutral world

Life in a carbon neutral world

Physics World, 2 April 2020
physicsworld.com/a/life-in-a-carbon-neutral-world/

Increasing numbers of cities and countries around the globe are pledging to become net carbon neutral within the next few decades. But what will day-to-day life look like in a “net-zero” world? Kate Ravilious looks at the changes that society will need to make

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Will spring slow spread of coronavirus in northern hemisphere?

Will spring slow spread of coronavirus in northern hemisphere?

The Guardian, 11 March 2020
www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/11/will-spring-slow-spread-of-coronavirus-in-northern-hemisphere

Will coronavirus infections slow down as spring arrives in the northern hemisphere?

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Biomass energy: green or dirty?

Biomass energy: green or dirty?

Physics World, 8 January 2020
physicsworld.com/a/biomass-energy-green-or-dirty/

The conversion to biomass energy has played a key role in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. But is this renewable energy source really as green as we first thought? Kate Raviliousinvestigates

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Forget pristine habitats – for biodiversity save abandoned quarries

Forget pristine habitats – for biodiversity save abandoned quarries

New Scientist, 4 September 2019
www.newscientist.com/article/mg24332460-700-forget-pristine-habitats-for-biodiversity-save-abandoned-quarries/

The best way to save Earth’s threatened wildlife could be to protect its most unglamorous and geologically diverse landscapes, from scrubland to exhausted mines

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A river runs through it

A river runs through it

Archaeology Magazine, 1 September 2019
www.archaeology.org/issues/351-1909

The twists and turns of a medieval English city’s history emerge from an artifact-rich riverbed

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Italian earthquake data hint at possibility of forecasting one type of quake

Italian earthquake data hint at possibility of forecasting one type of quake

Nature, 23 October 2018
www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07017-5

Study suggests how ‘sequence’ quakes are constrained by their geology, which could allow scientists to forecast the large follow-up shakes.

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The IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C: the why, the what and the how

The IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C: the why, the what and the how

Physics World, 8 October 2018
physicsworld.com/a/the-ipcc-special-report-on-global-warming-of-1-5c-the-why-the-what-and-the-how/

Following the 1.5 °C aim agreed in Paris in 2015, the IPCC came together once more to assess the ramifications. Kate Ravilious investigates the background

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Thirty years of the IPCC

Thirty years of the IPCC

Physics World, 8 October 2018
physicsworld.com/a/thirty-years-of-the-ipcc/

The IPCC has achieved plenty since 1988, including winning a Nobel Peace Prize. Kate Ravilious reports on where it could focus now

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Weatherwatch: wind turbines in the sun, slow but steady

Weatherwatch: wind turbines in the sun, slow but steady

The Guardian, 8 October 2018
www.theguardian.com/news/2018/oct/08/weatherwatch-wind-turbines-in-the-sun-slow-but-steady

How did Britain’s wind power stand up to the record-breaking hot summer of 2018? Researchers look back over 38 years

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England’s Secret Nuclear Bunkers

England’s Secret Nuclear Bunkers

Atlas Obscura, 11 September 2018
www.atlasobscura.com/articles/england-secret-nuclear-bunkers

Descend Into Great Britain’s Network of Secret Nuclear Bunkers. And meet the determined enthusiast bringing them back to life.

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Inside the Anarchy

Inside the Anarchy

Archaeology Magazine, 1 August 2018
www.archaeology.org/issues/306-1807/letter-from/6678-letter-from-england

Archaeologists explore the landscape of England’s first civil war

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Scaling up our response to super hurricanes

Scaling up our response to super hurricanes

The Guardian, 14 September 2017
www.theguardian.com/news/2017/sep/14/scaling-up-our-response-to-super-hurricanes

Weatherwatch: As oceans warm and the probability of more intense tropical storms rises, is it time to revamp the rating system?

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Scientists devise early thunderstorm alerts for fishermen in Africa

Scientists devise early thunderstorm alerts for fishermen in Africa

The Guardian, 29 August 2017
www.theguardian.com/news/2017/aug/29/scientists-devise-early-thunderstorm-alerts-for-fishermen-in-africa

Weatherwatch: Team develops storm warning based on satellite observations in hopes of reducing boating deaths on Lake Victoria

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Future forecasts: Met experts ask for your ideas

Future forecasts: Met experts ask for your ideas

The Guardian, 15 August 2017
www.theguardian.com/news/2017/aug/15/future-forecasts-met-experts-ask-for-your-ideas

Weatherwatch: Meteorology experts open the floodgates as they ask for public views about what makes for a satisfying weather prediction.

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Mystery of missing tsunamis explained by geological model

Mystery of missing tsunamis explained by geological model

New Scientist, 11 August 2017
www.newscientist.com/article/2143611-mystery-of-missing-tsunamis-explained-by-geological-model/

How is it that one underwater landslide leads to a devastating tsunami, while another of similar size barely causes a ripple?

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Jellyfish blooms linked to offshore gas platforms and wind farms

Jellyfish blooms linked to offshore gas platforms and wind farms

New Scientist, 31 July 2017
www.newscientist.com/article/2142322-jellyfish-blooms-linked-to-offshore-gas-platforms-and-wind-farms/

Jellymageddon is upon us – and we might be partly responsible.

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Balancing out the lulls of wind power with a wider reach across Europe

Balancing out the lulls of wind power with a wider reach across Europe

The Guardian, 27 July 2017
www.theguardian.com/news/2017/jul/27/balancing-out-the-lulls-of-wind-power-with-a-wider-reach-across-europe

Weatherwatch: Europe has seven prevailing weather regimes, a system wind farms could better exploit to even out supply and demand.

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Find the flow: Harnessing the incredible power of living fluids

Find the flow: Harnessing the incredible power of living fluids

New Scientist, 28 June 2017
www.newscientist.com/article/mg23531320-400-find-the-flow-harnessing-the-incredible-power-of-living-fluids/

We’re beginning to learn the rules that govern how everything from flocks of birds to sperm cells flow, and it could transform technology and medicine

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Hunting for Mars-like life a kilometre below Earth’s surface

Hunting for Mars-like life a kilometre below Earth’s surface

New Scientist, 22 July 2016
www.newscientist.com/article/2098349-hunting-for-mars-like-life-a-kilometre-below-earths-surface/

Kate Ravilious takes an 8-minute lift ride to an underground lab in Yorkshire, UK, doing research that could help NASA’s Mars 2020 rover …

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Seismic shift: Can we cloak cities from earthquakes?

Seismic shift: Can we cloak cities from earthquakes?

New Scientist, 20 July 2016
www.newscientist.com/article/mg23130830-400-seismic-shift-can-we-cloak-cities-from-earthquakes/

From underground musical pipes to swaying metal rods and strategically planted trees, these megaprojects could conquer earthquakes and tame tsunamis

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Rain spawns more rain when it falls on ploughed land

Rain spawns more rain when it falls on ploughed land

New Scientist, 2 May 2016
www.newscientist.com/article/2086521-rain-spawns-more-rain-when-it-falls-on-ploughed-land/

Rain cleans the air, right? Wrong.

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Rain makers: How high-flying bacteria could control the clouds

Rain makers: How high-flying bacteria could control the clouds

New Scientist, 13 April 2016
www.newscientist.com/article/mg23030690-400-rain-makers-how-highflying-bacteria-could-control-the-clouds/

Microbes in the clouds seem able to hijack the weather for their own good, summoning drizzle and downpours. Can we use them to control where rain falls?

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Writing on the Church Wall

Writing on the Church Wall

Archaeology Magazine, 10 August 2015
www.archaeology.org/issues/190-1509/letter-from/3554-letter-from-england-medieval-church-graffiti

Graffiti from the Middle Ages provides insight into personal expressions of faith in medieval England

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When hurricanes hardly happen

When hurricanes hardly happen

The Guardian, 22 June 2015
www.theguardian.com/news/2015/jun/22/weatherwatch-when-hurricanes-hardly-happen

Kate Ravilious on the current North American hurricane drought, and why it might have another year to run.

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Meteorology outwits malaria

Meteorology outwits malaria

The Guardian, 15 June 2015
www.theguardian.com/news/2015/jun/15/weatherwatch-meteorology-outwits-malaria

Kate Ravilious on how thousands of lives could be saved by a new system that uses targeted weather forecasts to predict outbreaks of malaria.

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Terrawatch: the enemy below

Terrawatch: the enemy below

The Guardian, 31 May 2015
www.theguardian.com/science/2015/may/31/terrawatch-volcano-eruption

Kate Ravilious on the near impossibility of predicting eruptions, even on well-monitored volcanoes, let alone those that appear inactive.

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How to keep wind turbines turning

How to keep wind turbines turning

The Guardian, 25 May 2015
www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/25/weatherwatch-wind-turbines-research

Research from the University of Colorado on wind data from Australia, Canada and the US, shows how careful spacing of turbines can keep the power on.

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Quake heightens Nepal landslide concern

Quake heightens Nepal landslide concern

BBC News, 13 May 2015
www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32721277

The magnitude 7.3 earthquake that shook Nepal on Tuesday lies right under one of the most landslide-prone parts of the country.

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Pollen shed in rain – brings more showers

Pollen shed in rain – brings more showers

The Guardian, 13 May 2015
www.theguardian.com/news/2015/may/13/weatherwatch-ravilious-research-michigan-pollen-trees-rain-clouds-asthma

Cycle of plant growth revealed as scientists find trees’ pollen exploding in downpours helps to form clouds.

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Terrawatch: a continental pile up

Terrawatch: a continental pile up

The Guardian, 3 May 2015
www.theguardian.com/science/2015/may/03/terrawatch-nepal-earthquake-fault

Kate Ravilious explains the geological background to the devastating earthquake that rocked Nepal.

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Why some quakes are worse than others

Why some quakes are worse than others

BBC News, 1 May 2015
www.bbc.co.uk/news/32549706

Nepal quake: Why are some tremors so deadly?

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Kathmandu earthquake nightmare not yet over

Kathmandu earthquake nightmare not yet over

Cosmos , 27 April 2015
cosmosmagazine.com/earth-sciences/kathmandu-earthquake-nightmare-not-yet-over

Geologists believe unrelieved strain still remains within the fault line that ruptured in Nepal on Saturday and claimed thousands of lives. Kate Ravilious reports

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Nepal earthquake: how to prevent thousands more deaths

Nepal earthquake: how to prevent thousands more deaths

New Scientist, 27 April 2015
www.newscientist.com/article/dn27416-nepal-earthquake-how-to-prevent-thousands-more-deaths.html#.VT5EfbqR8UU

The 2008 Sichuan earthquake taught us that managing and preventing landslides could save thousands of lives in Nepal over the coming weeks

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Even a deluge can have its upside

Even a deluge can have its upside

The Guardian, 27 April 2015
www.theguardian.com/news/2015/apr/27/weatherwatch-even-deluge-upside

Kate Ravilious on how analysis of satellite data overturned an assumption about the effect of rainfall on violent winds.

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Nepal quake ‘followed historic pattern’

Nepal quake ‘followed historic pattern’

BBC News, 26 April 2015
www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32472310

Nepal’s devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake on Saturday was primed over 80 years ago by its last massive earthquake in 1934, geologists working in the region say.

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Case of the Giant Blob

Case of the Giant Blob

The Guardian, 16 April 2015
www.theguardian.com/news/2015/apr/16/weatherwatch-case-giant-blob

Kate Ravilious on how an unusual envelope of warm water in the Pacific has been bringing extraordinary weather to parts of the US.

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Terrawatch: the history of dirt

Terrawatch: the history of dirt

The Guardian, 5 April 2015
www.theguardian.com/science/2015/apr/05/terrawatch-soil-earth-origins-life-erosion

Kate Ravilious on the soil to which we owe our existence, relatively new to Earth at a mere 450 million or so years old, and now under increasing threat of eroding away.

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Weatherwatch: It may feel like spring, but we are not out of the winter woods yet

Weatherwatch: It may feel like spring, but we are not out of the winter woods yet

The Guardian, 23 March 2015
www.theguardian.com/news/2015/mar/23/weather-spring-oceans-snow

Warmth is on its way, once the oceans have caught up

 

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