Author: Kerrod Trott

Did you know trees remember heatwaves?

An Aussie eucalypt can ‘remember’ past exposure to extreme heat, which makes the tree and its offspring better able to cope with future heatwaves, according to new research from Macquarie University. This finding could have important implications for restoring ecosystems and climate-proofing forestry, as the number of hot days and heatwaves increase due to climate change. “Unlike animals, which can bury deeper into the soil or flee to cooler locations, plants are stuck in one spot and so must be able to withstand extreme conditions in situ,” says Dr Rachael Gallagher, senior author of the paper published in the...

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Coal fired power disrupts rainfall: global study

Modern coal-fired power stations produce more ultrafine dust particles than road traffic and can even modify and redistribute rainfall patterns, a new 15-year international study shows. The study indicates filtration systems on modern coal-fired power stations are the biggest source of ultrafine particles and can have considerable impacts on climate in several ways. In urban areas, road traffic has long been considered the main source of small particle emissions which have the potential to adversely affect health and the environment. However, long-term measurements carried out by two scientists, Professor Wolfgang Junkermann from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in...

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Climate change drying soil, threatening water supplies

The widespread drying of soils, due to higher evaporation rates due to global warming, is shrinking water supplies to the point that drought-like conditions may become the norm in many parts of Australia. At a news conference held in Sydney, Prof Ashish Sharma of the University of New South Wales – who led the most exhaustive global analysis of rainfall and rivers to date – said that climate models had predicted that, for every 1˚C of warming, the warmer atmosphere would be able to store 7% more moisture. The models also expected that this would lead to a roughly...

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Lonely Christmas looming for many

A new Australian Red Cross survey reveals around one in three Australians recall feeling isolated or lonely last festive season. Of those of who recalled feeling isolated, close to half said it was because friends and family were far away, and four out of ten felt out of place with those nearby. As Australia turns its focus to reconnecting with friends, family and festive celebrations, Red Cross launches its annual Season of Belonging appeal. CEO of Australian Red Cross Judy Slatyer said: “Our survey shows that one in three of us felt a little lonely this time last year,...

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Make your seafood feast sustainable this Christmas

Australia’s peak marine NGO is calling on all ocean loving Australians who also love their seafood to shop sustainably this festive season. AMCS Sustainable Seafood Program Manager, Adrian Meder said, “The festive season is a great time to enjoy quality, fresh seafood from around Australia. But none of us want our ocean wildlife and their homes harmed just to put seafood on our plates. Some fisheries continue to impact threatened dolphins, endangered sharks and turtles. “Australians are looking for healthy Australian seafood choices that are genuinely sustainable. By using our independent, user friendly guide we can help ensure there...

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