As world leaders prepare to meet in Paris to try to agree ambitious emissions reduction goals, Horizon looks at EU research that is helping us understand how climate change will affect our lives, and how individuals and industries will have to adapt.
The level of greenhouse gas emissions being produced around the world means that, as things stand, temperatures are likely to rise by around 4.5 degrees by 2100, unless significant reductions are agreed, sophisticated climate simulations show.
It is possible for Europe to shift to a decarbonised economy – and even achieve full employment at the same time – but only if there is government leadership, large upfront investment, and a new way of measuring economic outputs, according to researchers who are coming up with a strategy for how the EU can achieve this.
People will need to lead less materialistic lifestyles if we are to transition to a green economy, but the challenge in changing actual behaviours and lifestyles lies in overcoming our ingrained notions about consumption, success and happiness.
The languages we speak and how we speak them are an integral part of our identity, shaping not only how we see the world but also how people see us. In January, Horizon puts language under the spotlight, kicking off the month with a look at Europe’s minority languages and how to preserve them. We also delve into the social and cognitive aspects of language use, finding out how accents arise and how they affect people’s perception of the speaker, and discovering how ageing affects linguistic capacity in bilingual people – and vice versa. We also speak to researchers looking into the language impairment dyslexia and potential options for early diagnosis.
When it comes to climate change, it is often said that what happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic. This month, with the COP24 UN climate change conference taking place in Katowice, Poland, Horizon looks north to the region of the world that is feeling the effects of global warming most acutely. We speak to Marianne Kroglund from the Arctic Council about whether it is too late to save the fragile ecosystems there and examine how studies of ice melt show that the world may still have a fighting chance of limiting sea level rise. We find out how the Arctic environment could be protected in the face of increased maritime traffic and look at the effect of melting permafrost – soil, sediment or rock that’s been frozen for at least two years – on the environment and local communities.
From high winds and heavy rainfall to droughts and plummeting temperatures, people in Europe have already begun to feel the effects of extreme weather. As we get used to this new reality, scientists are investigating how it will affect how we get around and whether our infrastructure can cope.
Increasingly severe weather could cripple our roads and railways. Here’s how we’re getting ready.
There is no evidence that language skills prevent cognitive decline, say researchers.
More regulations won't prevent drone disruption, says security expert Dan Hermansen.