9 reasons why climate change is best tackled through lots of small-scale solutions

Charlie Wilson, University of East Anglia; Caroline Zimm, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), and Simon De Stercke, Imperial College London Massive amounts of public money are being mobilised to kickstart economies out of COVID-induced recessions. Many countries are allocating parts of their stimulus packages towards ensuring the recovery is green.

20 years of the International Space Station: What we’ve learned about living in space

Alice Gorman, Flinders University and Justin St. P. Walsh, Chapman University November 2 marks 20 years since the first residents arrived at the International Space Station (ISS). The orbiting habitat has been continuously occupied ever since.

How to reverse global wildlife declines by 2050

Michael Obersteiner, University of Oxford; David Leclère, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), and Piero Visconti, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) Species are going extinct at an unprecedented rate. Wildlife populations have fallen by more than two-thirds over the last 50 years, according to a new report from the World Wildlife Fund. …

Fossil footprints: the fascinating story behind the longest known prehistoric journey

Matthew Robert Bennett, Bournemouth University and Sally Christine Reynolds, Bournemouth University Every parent knows the feeling. Your child is crying and wants to go home, you pick them up to comfort them and move faster, your arms tired with a long walk ahead – but you cannot stop now. Now add to this a slick …

Planet Nine might not exist, many astronomers now think

This article is originally published on The Conversation with the title of “Why astronomers now doubt there is an undiscovered 9th planet in our solar system”. Samantha Lawler, University of Regina Planet Nine is a theoretical, undiscovered giant planet in the mysterious far reaches of our solar system. The presence of Planet Nine has been …

We need faster spaceships. Nuclear-powered rockets may be the answer

This article is originally published on The Conversation with the title of “To safely explore the solar system and beyond, spaceships need to go faster – nuclear-powered rockets may be the answer”. Iain Boyd, University of Colorado Boulder With dreams of Mars on the minds of both NASA and Elon Musk, long-distance crewed missions through …

Will humans go extinct? For all the existential threats, we’ll likely be here for a very long time

Nick Longrich, University of Bath Will our species go extinct? The short answer is yes. The fossil record shows everything goes extinct, eventually. Almost all species that ever lived, over 99.9%, are extinct. Some left descendants. Most – plesiosaurs, trilobites, Brontosaurus – didn’t. That’s also true of other human species. Neanderthals, Denisovans, Homo erectus all …

The Sun is less active than sibling stars, study shows – here’s what that could mean

Andrew Norton, The Open University All stars emit varying amounts of light over time – and the Sun is no exception. Such changes in starlight can help us understand how habitable any planets around other stars are – a very active star may bombard its planets with harmful radiation. Now a new study, published in …

Coronavirus: we’re in a realtime laboratory of a more sustainable urban future

Paul Chatterton, University of Leeds A pause has been forced on urban life. Quiet roads, empty skies, deserted high streets and parks, closed cinemas, cafés, and museums – a break in the spending and work frenzy so familiar to us all. The reality of lockdown is making ghost towns of the places we once knew. …