Author page: Annie Mellor

New high-tech vertical farm opens in the UK

Man holds a lettuce growing under artificial light on a shelf

What’s going on here? The world’s largest vertical farm has opened in Gloucestershire, growing salad leaves three times faster than a regular farm can. It’s an indoor farm where produce grows in stacks of trays up to 15 high. It’s kept at a balmy 27 degrees with 75% humidity and has 14,500 square metres of growing space. What does this mean? This…

Melting Arctic reveals “zombie viruses” that could trigger another pandemic

A frozen scene of snow covered hills and icy sea, in low light with a moon just visible against the pink sky

What’s going on here? Scientists have warned that melting permafrost in Siberia, northern Russia, could unleash ancient viruses and trigger another pandemic. These “zombie viruses”, also known as Methuselah microbes, have been frozen for thousands of years but could still have the potential to infect humans. What does this mean? As the name suggests, permafrost is frozen the majority of the time.…

COP28 roundup: the promising, the cringe and the downright scary

Placard saying "one world" with picture of the globe

What’s going on here? The 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28 to its friends) has published its long-awaited and much-anticipated deal. After nearly a fortnight of talks, gaffes and disappointments, governments have agreed to “transition away” from fossil fuels. What does this mean? COP28 was hosted in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Its aim was to agree a new climate action…

Deadly heatwaves linked to climate change

Car drives through smoke from wildfire in the US

What’s going on here? Countries across the world have been sweltering under deadly heatwaves for most of July. These extreme weather events were once a rare occurrence. But we should now expect them to be hotter and more frequent due to the climate crisis, say scientists working with the World Weather Attribution initiative. What does this mean? It’s hard to attribute specific…