Scientists solve mystery of salt deserts' honeycomb patterns

Salt deserts are among the most extreme and inhospitable places on the planet and their bizarre and other-worldly polygon-shaped structures attract hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. Now a team involving researchers at Nottingham Trent University, TU Graz in Austria and Professor Giles Wiggs, Professor of Aeolian Geomorphology at SoGE, has been able to explain the origin of these patterns and their iconic shape and size.

Image: sara_winter / AdobeStock

New study identifies key success factors for large carnivore rewilding efforts

Research led by SoGE alumnus Seth Thomas and embarked on whilst studying on the School's MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management programme, has identified the top factors that determine whether efforts to relocate large carnivores to different areas are successful or not. The findings could support global rewilding efforts, from lynx reintroductions in the UK to efforts to restore logged tropical forests.

Image: Associação Mata Ciliar

New report outlines geographers' legal impact

A new report involving SoGE's Fiona McConnell (Professor of Political Geography) on geographers' legal impact has been published by the Royal Geographical Society with IBG. The report unearths the often-hidden legal workings undertaken by geographers, makes visible the real-life applications the discipline plays in shaping law and legal proceedings, and calls for new mechanisms to help attribute the appropriate level of recognition, which is so often overlooked. Find out more on the RGS-IBG website.

Image: Comugnero Silvana / AdobeStock

Expert Comment: Let's bring the city centres back to the people

Public authorities must experiment as they establish clean air/low emissions zones in city centres - along with studying the data. Evidence should be at the heart of climate-friendly policies, but there is real risk that political demands for 'perfect evidence' could actually undermine both attempts to improve air quality and the potential for transformative change.

Image: elcovalana / Adobe Stock

CO2 removal is essential, along with emissions' cuts, to limit global warming - report

Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) from the atmosphere is crucial to limit global warming, in addition to rapid cuts to emissions - that is the stark conclusion of today's first Oxford-led State of Carbon Dioxide Removal report. More than 20 global CDR experts, led by Dr Steve Smith, from the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, came together to deliver the blunt findings.


What's next for the anti-Nato left after Ukraine?

When Russian troops invaded Ukraine in February 2022, much of the political left across the western world were faced with a dilemma. In an article for The Conversation, Dr Ian Klinke explores the unpalatable choice facing the anti-Nato left: either to back a state propped up by Nato or to end up excusing a war of aggression.


Oxford University to co-lead £8m Energy Demand Observatory and Laboratory to help UK reach net-zero

The University of Oxford, alongside University College London (UCL), is to lead on an £8.7m research project to establish an Energy Demand Observatory and Laboratory (EDOL) in the UK. The five-year programme, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC, part of UK Research and Innovation) and working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), will establish a national energy data platform to help facilitate the transition to net-zero carbon emissions.


Compound extreme heat and drought will hit 90% of world population – Oxford study

More than 90% of the world’s population is projected to face increased risks from the compound impacts of extreme heat and drought, potentially widening social inequalities as well as undermining the natural world’s ability to reduce CO2 emissions in the atmosphere - according to a study from Oxford’s School of Geography.