Author page: Will Roderick

What is the ‘carbon thirst’ of the world’s oceans?

What’s Going On Here? A recent paper in Nature Communications has found that the world’s oceans could be absorbing significantly more carbon from the atmosphere than previously thought. What Does This Mean? The ocean is a carbon sink and absorbs around 25% of global atmospheric carbon dioxide through a process called the ‘ocean-atmosphere CO2 flux’. This amounts to about 2 billion tonnes…

Greenland ice sheet melts over tipping point

What’s Going On Here? The Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is melting at such a high rate that even if global heating were to stop today, the ice would continue to disappear. What Does This Mean? According to a new study conducted by scientists at Ohio State University, the world’s second largest ice sheet has reached a tipping point, whereby annual snowfall is…

COVID-19 lockdown sees record breaking fall in global carbon emissions

What’s Going On Here? The first four months of 2020 have seen global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions fall to levels not observed since 2006, representing the largest reduction in CO2 since records began. What Does This Mean? The new study, published in Nature Climate Change, found that daily CO2 emissions decreased by 17% relative to 2019 daily levels. Government policies introduced in response to the COVID-19…

Scientists discover bacteria that feeds on toxic unrecyclable plastic

What’s Going On Here? Scientists have recently discovered a bacterium that not only feeds off toxic unrecyclable plastic, but uses it as food to fuel the process! What Does This Mean? The bacterium ‘Pseudomonas sp. TDA1’ was discovered at a waste dump site where it was found to be breaking down polyurethane, a very common yet difficult to recycle plastic used in the production…

Recycling. It’s in our own hands

What’s Going On Here? It’s in our own hands. That’s the theme of Recycling Week 2019, the annual celebration of recycling organised by WRAP, which is taking place this week between 23-29 September. What Does This Mean? After big Dave hit us with Blue Planet 2, 2018 was the year Britain opened its eyes to plastic pollution. After Greta inspired the world, 2019…

Farmers and climate change: what’s the beef?

What’s Going On Here? Farmers are at the forefront of climate change. The industry is one of the most susceptible to changes in our climate (temperature, rainfall, extreme weather etc), but also has the potential to shape our societies resilience in the future (see last week’s curious.earth article). In the week where we learn our beloved cauliflower is in short supply due to the extreme June…

Shut the Fridge-Door!

What’s Going On Here? Ever noticed that pretty much all supermarket fridges and freezers are open? Well a report this week, supported by DEFRA, revealed they consume up to 1% of the UK’s total energy consumption – freezing mad! What Does This Mean? Campaigners are urging UK supermarkets to change standard proto-cold and close supermarket fridges, as the true energy use of open-door-fridges is…

The Resomator – how the funeral market is tackling climate change

What’s Going On Here? Ever thought of your environmental impact after you die? In an industry increasingly damaging to the environment, it seems that some in the funeral market have! Leeds-based company Resomation have developed a more environmentally friendly way to be laid to rest: the Resomator. What Does This Mean? The Resomator facilitates a process called ‘water cremation’, where the body is placed in…