International pressure, not national leadership, is driving Australian companies to aim for net zero

While the Nationals drag their heels over whether they will commit to Scott Morrison’s net zero by 2050 policy, Australia’s agriculture and mining sectors are already getting stuck-in to their own net zero targets. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C laid down a dire warning about … Continue reading International pressure, not national leadership, is driving Australian companies to aim for net zero

Catching fishy imports to tackle seafood fraud

Next time you plate up your favourite seafood, there’s a fair chance it could have been illegally fished. At risk of quashing your appetite, estimates suggest one in five fish caught every year is fished illegally or from unreported or unregulated sources. There’s also no real guarantee that the seafood you’re buying is what the … Continue reading Catching fishy imports to tackle seafood fraud

The great carbon capture and storage debate: can Santos make it work?

When Sylvia Little fried her eggs at her Adelaide home one November morning in 1969, she became Santos’s first customer for natural gas from Moomba, 800 kilometres north in the Strzelecki Desert. Today, in subterranean reservoirs depleted by millions like Mrs Little since, the company plans to bury millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide. It … Continue reading The great carbon capture and storage debate: can Santos make it work?

Bombardments from outer space shaped the atmosphere

For the first few billion years of the Earth’s existence, the weather forecast was cloudy with a chance of asteroid. Geochemists have presumed for some time that this flurry of strikes altered the chemistry of the nascent atmosphere, but new research now offers clues as to how. In a paper published in Nature Geoscience, a … Continue reading Bombardments from outer space shaped the atmosphere

Tracking the hardening coast

As urbanisation increases, the world’s coasts are changing their physical shape: from fluid and mobile sand and eroding rocks and cliffs they’re becoming harder and simpler with the addition of piers, sea walls, and other engineering projects. The result could lead to less diversity of coastal species and nutrients in coastal environments. A team of … Continue reading Tracking the hardening coast

So long Sydney Opera House, bye bye Buckingham Palace

A new study uses extensive global elevation data to predict what familiar places around the world will look like in years to come if sea level rise caused by human-induced climate change continues apace. The results support the assessment of sea level rise in the major Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released earlier … Continue reading So long Sydney Opera House, bye bye Buckingham Palace

The plastic wrap

From the deepest ocean trenches to the peaks of the highest mountains, plastics can now be found everywhere, and figuring out how to manage them has become a pressing problem. Several new studies have been released this week addressing the global plastic problem. One predicts how airborne microplastics will have an impact on the climate, … Continue reading The plastic wrap

What is COP26 and why does the fate of Earth depend on it?

By Wesley Morgan, Griffith University In just over two weeks, more than 100 world leaders will gather in the Scottish industrial city of Glasgow for United Nations climate change negotiations known as COP26. Their task, no less, is to decide the fate of our planet. This characterisation may sound dramatic. After all, UN climate talks … Continue reading What is COP26 and why does the fate of Earth depend on it?

Using AI to probe the dawn of animal life

A joint Australian-US team has a plan to use AI to understand the oldest complex fossils on Earth – and they’ve just received a cool US$300,000 (about $410,000) grant from NASA to do it. The natural archive of Earth’s geological record contains fossils and other signals of living creatures, which helps us understand the evolutionary … Continue reading Using AI to probe the dawn of animal life

Neighbourhood watch: what are the other countries in our region doing about carbon?

While the Australian government continues to wrangle with their internal divisions over whether or not to set a target of net zero emissions target for 2050, our nation neighbours to the north are unveiling new policies and goals to tackle their emissions.   Malaysia has unveiled ambitious climate-reduction targets, Singapore is considering raising the price … Continue reading Neighbourhood watch: what are the other countries in our region doing about carbon?

Talking time is over: business and industry plan for climate action

With the Glasgow climate summit just a few weeks away, a group of Australian business and industry leaders have come together to form the Climate Ready Australia 2030 (CRA2030) alliance with a goal to create a detailed plan on how to quickly transition to a net zero future. “I think all the debate to date … Continue reading Talking time is over: business and industry plan for climate action

Plastic versus bioplastic | Cosmos Weekly Taster

This article on bioplastic first appeared in Cosmos Weekly on 8 October 2021. For more stories like this, subscribe to Cosmos Weekly. I have a confession – I’ve started buying compostable baking paper. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know if it’s any better for the environment. I just saw it in the … Continue reading Plastic versus bioplastic | Cosmos Weekly Taster