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Inga Vesper

Journalist, editor, writer

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Technology

Shipping pollution hotspots mapped with real-time data

Coastal areas around South East Asia suffer the most from pollution caused by ship traffic, according to a global study that estimates shipping emissions based on real-time, local activity for the first time. The study, published in Atmospheric Environment, sheds light on forces at play in a region where shipping pollution is believed to cause up to 24,000 deaths a year.

Mud bricks best for cool, green houses, says study

Simple mud concrete bricks provide the most affordable and sustainable houses in the tropics, a Sri-Lankan study suggests. Comparisons of four different types of walling materials revealed that mud concrete bricks have the lowest environmental impact and keep houses cool. They are also the cheapest, and easiest to dispose of once a house is knocked down.

Bigger isn’t better for energy savings

Advances made in the energy efficiency of heating and transport are lost because of people’s desire to have bigger houses and cars, two research papers have shown. Researchers have found that houses in England, Australia, Canada, the US and New Zealand are getting bigger as people want more space and extra rooms. This means there is more air to be heated, destroying any climate benefits gained by better heating systems and more efficient insulation, they say.

Eyes show that stress reduces climate concern

An eye-tracking study reveals that stress levels affect how much attention people pay to climate change imagery, even if they are supportive of environmental issues.

An alternative future

Dietmar Lampert, from Austria’s Centre for Social Innovation, hopes that digital science will create a better fit between innovation and society, Inga Vesper reports.

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