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Tag: climate

Climate change: Is nuclear power the answer?

Climate change: Is nuclear power the answer?

Science
Nuclear is good for the environment. Nuclear is bad for the environment. Both statements are true.Why is it good? Nuclear power is planned to be a key part of the UK's energy mix.The key benefit is that it helps keep the lights on while producing hardly any of the CO2 emissions that are heating the climate.CO2 emissions come from traditional ways of creating electricity such as burning gas and coal. And the government is expected to have halted emissions almost completely by 2050, to help curb damage to the climate.Why is it bad for the environment?Because major nuclear accidents are few and far between, but when they happen they create panic. Take the Fukushima explosions in 2011, which released radioactive material into the surrounding air in Japan. Or ...
Climate change intensifies deadly bird rivalry

Climate change intensifies deadly bird rivalry

Science
Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Pied flycatchers are turning up dead in the nests of great tits, and new research suggests global warming is to blame for the interspecies violence. Pied flycatchers and great tits are natural rivals. The two bird species compete for similar nesting sites, and both rely on caterpillars, an abundant but short-lived food source, to feed their young. Having spent years studying the two species, researcher Jelmer Samplonius began to notice some years hosted dozens of flycatcher deaths, while other years were nearly free of fatalities. In an attempt to better understand the fluctuating violence, researchers surveyed the number of pied flycatcher fatalities observed in great tit nest boxes in the Netherlands between 2007 and 2016. The data showed that during the deadliest years...
Climate change: Will insect-eating dogs help?

Climate change: Will insect-eating dogs help?

Science
Do you fret that your pet pooch is blamed by environmentalists for turning rainforests into poo in the park? Have no fear - you can now fatten Fido on black soldier flies instead of Brazilian beef.A pet food manufacturer now claims that 40% of its new product is made from soldier flies.It's one of many firms hoping to cash in on the backlash against beef by people concerned that the cattle are fed on soya.These soya plantations are responsible for the release of greenhouse gases in significant quantities.Is it good for the dog?The key question is whether a diet of 40% soldier flies meets the nutritional needs of your beloved canine. We put the question to a pet diet expert at the Royal Veterinary College, Aarti Kathrani. Her conclusion was a cautious "ye...

Climate change: Which are the best vegan milks?

Science
The popularity of vegan foods continues to grow, with January seen as a traditional time to consider giving them a try.Milk alternatives, such as oat, soy, almond or coconut, are one area of interest, with sales rising in the UK.A scientific study suggests the greenhouse gas emissions used in the production of plant-based milks are lower than for dairy milk.But which milk has the smallest impact on the planet? Producing a glass of dairy milk results in almost three times the greenhouse gas emissions of any non-dairy milks, according to a University of Oxford study.Looking at land use, the difference is starker still. Producing a glass of dairy milk every day for a year requires 650 sq m (7,000 sq ft) of land, the equival...
Storms, fires, heat waves: Year's disasters linked to climate change

Storms, fires, heat waves: Year's disasters linked to climate change

Science
Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Many climate scientists have been reluctant to directly attribute natural disasters and extreme weather events to global warming. But 2018 forced their hand. Increasingly, climate scientists are making the connection between climate change and record-setting weather events -- storms, droughts, floods, fires, heat waves, cold spells and more. New statistical analysis methods and increasingly accurate climate models have allowed climate scientists to more confidently quantify the culpability of rising CO2 levels each time disaster strikes. In 2018, disaster struck often. Storms The hurricane season produced several larger storms and a few odd ones. Hurricane Florence defied trajectory predictions, steering farther north than any previous storm on its route to the East Coas...