In this issue

Issue 160


Indian Ocean major carbon sink say expedition scientists
The Indian Ocean is able to act as a major carbon sink due to its capacity to absorb three times as much atmospheric nitrogen – a key fertiliser for marine plant growth – as the Atlantic. This finding came from the $23million around-the-world ‘Malaspina' science expedition, involving Spain and nine other countries, including Australia.
Learn more
Returning the goodness from city to soil
Urban communities are refining the age-old technique of composting domestic organic waste to help address the declining fertility of agricultural soils.
Learn more
Moving on: Relocating species in response to climate change
Global warming is not just threatening biodiversity – it is challenging the way scientists think about conservation. How can a species be preserved in situ if its habitat may disappear under climate change? Managed relocation may preserve some species for the future, but its success will rely on good science and a sound risk assessment.
Learn more
Towards baseload solar thermal power
Spain's latest large-scale commercial concentrating solar thermal plants have advanced the generation of solar energy around the clock by using thermal storage. Meanwhile, research continues on the role that concentrating solar thermal plants can play as baseload power support technology under different scenarios.
Learn more
Climate adaptation: think globally, act locally
Biologists should not over-commit time and effort in establishing broader climate change links to local ecological impacts, say an international team of United States, Spanish and Australian researchers. Instead, biologists should aim to achieve a balance between identifying and understanding climate change impacts, and planning for the consequences.
Learn more
Climate change amplifying impact of toxic pollutants
Climate change is increasing the vulnerability of life on Earth to persistent organic pollutants (POPs), a UN research team concluded in a major study previewed at the international climate change talks in Cancun in December2010.
Learn more
Greenland, Antarctic ice sheets melting faster than predicted
The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass at an accelerating pace, according to a recent NASA-funded satellite study based on nearly two decades of monthly satellite measurements.
Learn more
Global energy savings begin at home
As a child, Everald Garner fell in love with Tasmania's wilderness. But since the 1970s, when she first became aware of development impacts, she has been – by her own admission – something of an environmental ‘stirrer'. Now living in Nowra, NSW, the 79-year-old retiree is hosting a series of meetings with friends, family and neighbours as part of the CSIRO's and Department of Climate Change and Energy's Energymarkprogram.
Learn more
Australia's Carbon Farming Initiative: A world first
The federal government's proposed Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) is designed to unlock the potential benefits from reducing greenhouse gas emissions and sequestering additional carbon in Australia's agricultural and forestry sectors. It is also an international first.
Learn more
Can keeping native mammals as pets help conserve wild populations?
An estimated 60 per cent of Australian households own a pet, with dogs and cats the companions of choice. A recent study suggests replacing some introduced pets with native mammals could help preserve dwindling populations in the wild.
Learn more
Online forecasts take guesswork out of water management
A new Seasonal Streamflow Forecasting service, developed by the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology, is helping reduce the uncertainty faced by Australia's water managers in managing their resource.
Learn more
Understanding emotional responses to climate change
People's values and beliefs about climate change, and how these influence their actions, is a complex relationship – and one that is increasingly important as all tiers of government grapple with designing climate change policies and actions.
Learn more
‘Climate dogs' get science across to farmers
What do sheep dogs have in common with Victoria's erratic weather? A lot, as farm extension staff at the state's Department of Primary Industries (DPI) discovered when faced with the challenge of communicating climate change science to farmers, many of whom are sceptical about climate change.
Learn more
Rising CO2 plants and biodiversity
Will increased carbon dioxide emissions usher in a new era of more abundant vegetation, enhancing plant production as well as food and shelter for wildlife? While it's true that CO2 pumped into an artificial greenhouse is a potent fertiliser, planet Earth's biosphere is not so simple. Carol Booth and Tim Low look at some scientific evidence that highlights the issue's complexity.
Learn more
Stakeholder engagement – applying insights from neuroscience
Understanding that neural pathways reflect our experiences, and shape our perception of ‘facts', provides valuable insight into how more effective ‘stakeholder engagement' can be run.
Learn more
Growing a green fuel industry in Australia
Can Australia grow an economically and environmentally-sustainable biofuels industry on waste biomass? Joely Taylor investigates.
Learn more
Climate change science: a new synthesis for Australia
How does today's climate change differ from similar events in the past? What does the best science tell us about where we are heading? And how does research suggest we should respond to the challenges? CSIRO summarises the latest peer-reviewed research in a new online book – Climate Change: Science and Solutions for Australia.
Learn more

In Brief - Round-up of sustainability news

Rhizobium strains go underground
Cleaning up tailings' toxins
Larval dispersal key to world's richest 'reef gardens'
Mining by-product reduces risk of algal blooms
Progress in life-saving scientific research
Adaptation: call for national concrete database
Nano carbon could reduce mega footprint
National map of sea-floor biodiversity
UN includes buildings in global carbon reduction

Past Issues



January 2015


December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014

Past Years

2010 to 2013
2000 to 2009
1990 to 1999
1980 to 1989
1974 to 1979

ECOS Archive

Welcome to the ECOS Archive site which brings together 40 years of sustainability articles from 1974-2014.

For more recent ECOS articles visit the blog. You can also sign up to the email alert or RSS feed