Flying into turbulence

Wind farms are not the bird killer of popular imagination, but as more and more towers rise over the Australian landscape and as the country’s first offshore wind farm inches towards an end date, avian death counts are an easy headline. Experts such as Emma Bennett, whose company Elmoby Ecology specialises in the effects of … Continue reading Flying into turbulence

Calhoun’s prophet rodents and the creation of the “behavioural sink”

I first read Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH as a young’un. What I didn’t know at the time was that it was inspired by a series of experiments on population dynamics from the 1940s to the 1970s. The two studies, over a total of eight years, aimed to explore the effects of population … Continue reading Calhoun’s prophet rodents and the creation of the “behavioural sink”

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?

A new view of distant galaxies

Growing up under the clear night skies of the state of Georgia, in the south-east of the United States, I remember lying in the back of my dad’s pickup truck looking up at the constellations, and even from that very early age of nine or 10 there was just something so fundamental and wonderful about … Continue reading A new view of distant galaxies

Who’s killing physics?

On a recent visit to my mum’s place, I searched through my old stuff for something my children might like. One book that caught my eyes was (the German edition of) James Trefil’s Dark Side of the Universe. It’s about cosmology, the Big Bang and the expansion of the universe, Einstein’s theory of general relativity, … Continue reading Who’s killing physics?

A planet with an atmosphere that vaporises rock?

October is planetary science month. That’s when the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences holds its annual meeting, with hundreds of researchers discussing planetary bodies large and small. Want the latest on the search for Planet 9? Here’s the place to find out. (Hint: nobody’s found it.) Wondering what counts as a planet? Forget … Continue reading A planet with an atmosphere that vaporises rock?

A slice of the semiconductor market

In the world of manufacturing, small has fast become large, with the sales of semiconductors reaching US$439 billion across the world last year. That equates to the production of nearly 300 billion semiconductor chips, or about 40 chips for every person on the planet. Australia is no more than a bit player in this massive … Continue reading A slice of the semiconductor market

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

ASEAN nations join forces to imagine the “next big things”

What will the South-East Asian region look like in 2040? What are the big drivers of change happening now? The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the need for future preparedness like never before. Like well-practised regions such as Europe, the ASEAN region is now building foresight capacity so it can build a shared vision of the … Continue reading ASEAN nations join forces to imagine the “next big things”

The energy compensation conundrum

Ever wonder why it seems so hard to exercise off those winter kilos, even as the weather warms and you become increasingly active? The problem, says Lewis Halsey, an environmental physiologist at the University of Roehampton, London, isn’t that you’re doing something wrong. Rather, you’re up against a mysterious aspect of human physiology known as … Continue reading The energy compensation conundrum