An ‘internet of electricity’, zero-carbon cities and turning European soils into carbon sinks are among a slew of ambitious ideas to decarbonise our society and slash greenhouse gas emissions proposed by environmental experts in a report published on 28 November.
The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), a virtual one-stop shop for researchers to share, access and reuse data, was officially unveiled at the University of Vienna, Austria, on 23 November, giving scientists, open data advocates, research institutions and policymakers a first glimpse of the portal.
Scientists have created a solar atlas of Egypt, revealing where the sun’s rays shine most brilliantly and where dust storms obstruct its light. And in Niger, forecasters are guiding pastoralists towards grazing areas and water sources – and away from conflict with sedentary farmers.
Socially focused innovators across Europe have called on the European Union to put innovation at the heart of its strategy to achieve a ‘social triple A rating’– an ambition set out by European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in 2014 to give greater prominence to the bloc’s social priorities.
Athens, Greece has been named the 2018 European Capital of Innovation for the innovative ways in which it has overcome social and economic challenges and turned them into new opportunities. The €1 million iCapital first prize was announced at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal on 6 November, with five other European cities receiving runner-up prizes of €100,000.'Athens has shown a new dimension to what we mean by innovation. It is not only for the powerful, well-resourced and prosperous cities, it is for everyone,' said Athens' mayor Georgios Kaminis, when the award was announced.Last year's iCapital winner was Paris, France.
To avoid climate breakdown, eliminating fossil fuels is the easy part, according to Professor Johan Rockström, co-director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. He says that safeguarding biological resources such as water, soil and biodiversity will be the ultimate test of whether global warming targets can be reached.
Bill Gates and the European Commission have launched a €100 million investment fund designed to bring radical clean energy technologies more quickly to market in order to promote energy efficiency and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
We may never be able to entirely predict earthquakes such as those that hit central Italy in 2016, but we could better assess how they’re going to play out by joining up data from different scientific fields in a new Europe-wide observatory, say scientists.
Digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics, ‘desperately’ need an institutional framework and system of values to help regulate the industry, an ethics expert has told leading scientists and policymakers.
Scientists are investigating the link between gut bacteria and ageing.
Their ageing rates might teach us how to grow old gracefully, too.
We are entering a second era of lunar exploration, says ESA’s Dr David Parker.