Charting a course to zero emissions: the challenge for global shipping

On the sidelines at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, the conference billed as the world’s ‘last best chance’ to avoid catastrophic climate change above 1.5°C of global heating, the shipping industry was rallying. For decades the sector and its regulator, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), had dilly-dallied about who should be held responsible for … Continue reading Charting a course to zero emissions: the challenge for global shipping

A stubborn optimist’s view from COP26

The world has been to Glasgow and returned. Almost 200 nations and 120 heads of state attended COP26, but they weren’t alone. Among the 25,000 delegates at the climate change conference was a large contingent of international finance and business leaders. And while governments fumbled over wording in the final Glasgow Climate Pact, those global … Continue reading A stubborn optimist’s view from COP26

Future seas

I knew I wanted to be a marine biologist from the age of 11. I’d gone to an aquarium with my parents and there was someone diving in the tank – I think he was only cleaning it, but I saw this person underwater and I was like, “That’s what I want to do!” I … Continue reading Future seas

In the aftermath of COP26, what have we learnt?

The much-anticipated 26th UN Conference of the Parties – COP26 – is over, and the response to its agreement is mixed. Some say the path to net zero is inexorable; others that much remains to be agreed. In Australia, a dominant theme is that private enterprise and state governments are taking the lead on the … Continue reading In the aftermath of COP26, what have we learnt?

The ocean is our greatest climate regulator

The German linguist Heinrich Zimmer once described the ocean as “limitless and immortal … the beginning and end of all things on Earth”. Standing on the shores of any ocean, one can easily sense this. Yet, the more we reveal about the myriad processes within the world’s oceans, the more we begin to question just … Continue reading The ocean is our greatest climate regulator

More megafires loom in Australia’s future

Australian bushfires are getting worse and it’s being driven by climate change, according to a massive analysis of 90 years’ worth of fire data. Not only has the number of megafires in Australia spiked since 2000, but a greater expanse of land is being burnt, and they’re happening more and more in autumn and winter. … Continue reading More megafires loom in Australia’s future

Extreme heat increases health risk for everyone

Extreme heat is a killer. It’s responsible for thousands of deaths around the world every year, with a huge proportion of those already attributed to rising global temperatures. Studies have long shown that people over the age of 65 face an increased risk of hospital admission and death during extreme heat days, but US and … Continue reading Extreme heat increases health risk for everyone

The real dirt on carbon farming

Soil carbon’s role in reducing Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions is critical to the federal government’s plan for the nation to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Estimates based on CSIRO data suggest that between 35 million and 90 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent could be stored annually through soil carbon sequestration – drawing carbon from the … Continue reading The real dirt on carbon farming

Warmer soils can’t store as much carbon

All eyes are on soil carbon at the moment, and its potential to store some of the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide through agricultural management. But experts have cautioned that climate change will affect soil carbon storage capacity – with changing rainfall patterns and other effects interfering with soils. Now, research by UK and Swedish scientists has … Continue reading Warmer soils can’t store as much carbon

What is ‘soil carbon’, and why are we hoping it will mitigate climate change?

A major part of the federal government’s net zero plan is soil carbon sequestration. What is soil carbon, and can it really live up to the hype? What is soil carbon? Soil carbon is, in a sense, exactly what it says on the tin: the element carbon, stored in soils. “Carbon is a critical part … Continue reading What is ‘soil carbon’, and why are we hoping it will mitigate climate change?

Was COP26 a victory or defeat?

The most ambitious climate pact since the Paris Agreement in 2015 has just been signed at COP26. Though it represents crucial forward momentum, experts say the summit failed to protect vulnerable nations by not addressing the pressing human-rights threats posed by a warming world. As COP26 came to a close in Glasgow over the weekend, … Continue reading Was COP26 a victory or defeat?

‘Try harder. Try harder’: Today, COP26 negotiators will fight to save life on Earth

By Tim Flannery, The University of Melbourne At COP26 in Glasgow, the announcements came so fast there was barely time to give each proper scrutiny before the next arrived. I’ve attended many United Nations climate change conferences, but this fortnight felt different. The feeling of momentum was palpable. Countries that in past years fought tooth-and-nail … Continue reading ‘Try harder. Try harder’: Today, COP26 negotiators will fight to save life on Earth