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Showing posts from May, 2021

Conference connects Climate Change Education with latest research

The Climate Change Education Research Network (CCERN) , a GW4 funded project, hosted the first in a series of online conferences on 20th April 2021. The event saw 300 attendees register from across the education sector and beyond.  The conference kicked off with a video compilation of youth climate activists explaining why they believe the climate emergency should be top of all teachers’ priority list – watch the Youth Voice video here . The inspirational words from the young activists addressed the ‘why’ teachers ought to respond to the climate crisis, the next question was ‘how’. To tackle this from a research-informed perspective, we interviewed Martha Monroe of the University of Florida to establish the theoretical context. Monroe shared findings from a recent review into effective strategies in climate change education. Watch the full interview with Martha Monroe here and read the review here .  The next section of the event was a series of quickfire presentations from a multitud

Five satellite images that show how fast our planet is changing

 You have probably seen satellite images of the planet through applications like Google Earth. These provide a fascinating view of the surface of the planet from a unique vantage point and can be both beautiful to look at and useful aids for planning. But satellite observations can provide far more insights than that. In fact, they are essential for understanding how our planet is changing and responding to global heating and can do so much more than just “taking pictures”. It really is rocket science and the kind of information we can now obtain from what are called Earth observation satellites is revolutionising our ability to carry out a comprehensive and timely health check on the planetary systems we rely on for our survival. We can measure changes in sea level down to a single millimetre, changes in how much water is stored in underground rocks, the temperature of the land and ocean and the spread of atmospheric pollutants and greenhouse gases, all from space. Here I have selecte

Life in the deep freeze – the revolution that changed our view of glaciers forever

Saiko3p/Shutterstock I’ve been fascinated by glaciers since I was 14, when geography textbooks taught me about strange rivers of ice that crept down yawning valleys like giant serpents stalking their next meal. That kernel of wonder has carried me through a career of more than 25 years. I’ve travelled to the world’s peaks and its poles to see over 20 glaciers. Yet, when I first started out as a researcher in the early 1990s, we were convinced glaciers were lifeless deserts. Then in 1999, Professor Martin Sharp and colleagues discovered bacteria living beneath the Haut Glacier d’Arolla in Switzerland. It seemed that glaciers, like the soil or our stomachs, had their own community of microbes, their own microbiome. Since then, we’ve found microorganisms just about everywhere within glaciers, transforming what we thought were sterile wastelands into vibrant ecosystems. So what’s all that glacier life doing? These life forms may be invisible to the naked eye, but they can control ho

Indian farmers’ strike continues in the shadow of COVID-19

In what is believed to be the biggest protest in history , in late November 2020 farmers from across India drove 200,000 trolleys and tractors towards Delhi’s borders in a mass protest against agricultural reforms. This was followed a few days later by a general strike involving 250 million people in both urban and rural areas of India as workers joined together to support the farmers. The strike continues, despite the global public health crisis, which is hitting India harder than any other country in the world. Fear of COVID-19 has not deterred farmers, who have emphatically stated that regardless of whether they contract the virus, the “black laws” will kill them anyway . The movement first began in the state of Punjab in June 2020, as farmers blocked freight railway lines in protest against these “black laws” , which increase corporate control over all aspects of the food chain from seed to sale. Farmers unions argue that the laws undermine state-controlled prices of key crops,