Cities & Coasts

Artificial Intelligence: the future of the science-policy interface is here

“When you are involved in making decisions on critical issues, such as managing a given climate emergency, operational value of forecasts guides you towards more impactful decisions.” Andrea Castelletti walks us through some of the most exciting developments in climate science and how Artificial Intelligence is opening a new frontier in the scientific process.

An explosive affair: volcanoes and climate

The year without a summer showed the world how volcanoes can affect climate with severe consequences on human societies and economies. Today – while climate deniers use eruptions as a tool with which to cloud the truth about anthropogenic causes of climate change – volcanoes remain important monitors of “our impacts on the climate (which) are so large they even have the potential to affect volcanic eruptions themselves”.

Growing the new green commons

Urbanization has altered the way cities and the people that inhabit them interact with nature. In countries such as Japan, where high levels of urbanization and a rapidly aging population is leading to abandoned spaces in cities, there is a unique chance to reimagine the role of urban green spaces. “How we design green urban spaces is key for both human and planetary wellbeing,” says urban ecosystem development expert Juan Pastor Ivars.

vertical farming

Is the future of farming vertical?

Efficient, resilient and future proof or wasteful, energy intensive and prohibitively expensive? To some the future of food production lies in indoor vertical farms, where food is grown locally and in controlled environments that are resilient to the fast changing outside world. Others are not buying into the hype.

Heatwave

Are we ready for Europe’s winter warmland?

The news is record-breaking temperature. Media coverage swings from talk of “astonishing luck”, to alarm and concern from those who look at the bigger picture, identifying heatwave’s impacts on health, ecosystems and the economy. The point is: are we able to connect the dots between the energy crisis, climate change and increasing extreme events? From the New York Times to the Washington Post, from the Guardian to the most influential scientists on social media, a review of the temperature anomalies affecting Europe and beyond.

Flood and drought: Two sides of the same coin

From mid-June to the end of August 2022, Pakistan experienced record-breaking rainfall which led to unprecedented flooding in much of the country. This came off the back of a deadly heatwave just months before with peak temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius. What do these seemingly contrasting events have in common? “Extreme event attribution” helps scientists identify if there are human fingerprints on these extreme events.

coral reef juli berwald

Emotions and science: Juli Berwald finds hope in coral reefs

Her latest book “Life on the rocks” is a collection of factual and engaging stories about corals. As a marine biologist and writer Juli Berwald brings her unique perspective and sense of wonder for coral reefs to the reader, sharing stories of her personal struggles and hope in the face of adversity. Why? Because “people act on their feelings”.

Heatwaves or the new normal? Global media analyses and reactions

Record-breaking temperatures in Europe, heat advisory in the US, and peaks in electricity consumption in China. Media outlets and climate change communicators across the world are pointing to links between the ongoing heatwaves and climate change, just as researchers are working to make the science behind extreme weather attribution more robust.

Digital twin

By connecting the real and virtual worlds digital twins help create, test and deploy the disruptive technologies and ideas needed to respond to the climate crisis at an unprecedented pace. A look at how experts such as Peter Bauer, Director of Destination Earth at the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, are using digital twins to help plan and define the future.

urban greening

The benefits of urban greening

Urban centres hold the majority of the world’s population, yet these man-made environments are often devoid of green spaces. Adequately planned urban greening can not only improve living conditions for city dwellers but also help countries meet their broader climate goals.

Innovation Inspired by Nature

Nature provides key benefits for resilience and can be the foundation for sustainability. It cleans the air and water, it provides food, beauty and serenity for people. The “green” realm provides immense benefits to societies, cities, and their citizens. Perspectives and solutions for creating cities that are resilient, sustainable, liveable and just for everyone.