The end of the world has come a lot closer in the past three years, with every single person now in danger as climate change and nuclear weapons pose an escalating threat – according to the scientists behind the Doomsday Clock, a symbolic measure which counts down to armageddon.
Davos is the spiritual home of homo economicus, where human behavior can generally be explained in terms of the perpetual war between greed and fear. That’s one reason why the World Economic Forum is such a hot ticket. If you’re a student of the men (and they’re overwhelmingly men) who control the world’s money and power, being in Davos can help you gauge just how nervous or covetous they seem.
This year, my highly-unscientific first impression is that fear is very much on the ascendant. A lot of people seem to feel the need to explain to me, on an entirely unsolicited basis, just how powerful and important they are – much more so than in previous years. What that says to me is that they’re not on the lookout for new opportunities, in the way that they have been in previous years, so much as they’re trying to…
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The Pillars of Creation is one of the most iconic images ever taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
In 1995, the telescope provided the first views of three towering spires of cold molecular hydrogen gas, dust and newly forming stars that lie within M16, the Eagle Nebula, located some 6500 light-years from Earth.
Animals that live in cold, stable environments may suffer more as the climate changes, suggests new research on the ability of mosquitofish to deal with temperature increases.The study, published today in the journal Royal Society Open Science, showed that mosquitofish acclimatised to live in colder water did worse when temperatures were raised.”Our research shows that some animals that live in colder climates now will suffer as temperatures becomes more variable due to climate change,” says Dr Frank Seebacher from the University of Sydney.
More than 1,000 exoplanets have now been discovered by the Kepler Space Telescope, announced NASA this month, and the figure continues to climb.
Three of the newly confirmed Kepler planets are thought to lie in the habitable zones of their host stars and are only slightly larger than the Earth.
The Earth’s climate has always changed. All species eventually become extinct. But a new study has brought into sharp relief the fact that humans have, in the context of geological timescales, produced near instantaneous planetary-scale disruption. We are sewing the seeds of havoc on the Earth, it suggests, and the time is fast approaching when we will reap this harvest.
Coral reefs are the poster child for the damage people are doing to the world’s oceans. Overfishing, pollution and declining water quality have all taken their toll on reefs around the world. Perhaps the most famous example is Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, where half of the coral cover has disappeared over the past 25 years.
The world’s first wave energy and desalination plant is nearing completion near Fremantle Western Australia. Carnegie Wave Energy will soon be providing electricity