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Institute of Physics articles

Displaying 1 - 11 of 11

Air pollution battle found to be crucial to China’s public health

Air pollution battle found to be crucial to China’s public health
  A new study has shown that China’s measures to improve air quality are working, but more stringent policies should be put in place to safeguard public health. Air pollution in China, especially in mega-metropolitan areas, is a matter of concern due to its impact on public health.
7th November 2017

Cutting food waste helps improve your ‘foodprint’

Cutting food waste helps improve your ‘foodprint’
Around a third of the resources used to produce the US’s food are wasted through FLW, a study has revealed. The research from the University of Texas at Austin and Sustainable America, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, examined the environmental impacts of the average American’s diet and FLW through an analysis of the energy, land, water and fertilizer required to produce the food, and greenhouse gas emissions from the production – which the researchers term a ‘foodprint’.
18th October 2017

Solar cell breakthrough lights up new applications

Solar cell breakthrough lights up new applications
For the first time, an international scientific collaboration has successfully integrated a sub-micron thin, nanophotonic silicon film into a crystalline solar cell. Thinner crystalline silicon cells absorb less light. While the addition of nanophotonic structures can strongly improve light absorption, their integration into the cells has been challenging thus far, due to the electrical losses they cause.
6th September 2017


African forests threatened by demand for commodity crops

African forests threatened by demand for commodity crops
International demand for commodity crops like cocoa is putting increasing pressure on tropical forests in sub-Saharan Africa, according to new research. The study – the first comprehensive empirical assessment of land-use change impacts of commodity crop expansion in sub-Saharan Africa, and their effects on tropical deforestation – published today in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
3rd April 2017

Size does matter when it comes to wind farms

Size does matter when it comes to wind farms
A team of Danish researchers have developed a method to assess the efficiency of different sized onshore and offshore wind farms. The team investigated whether the farm power density - the power per unit area - of very large wind farms was limited, and related this to their efficiency and annual energy production. The study used regional atmospheric model simulations to assess the power production and wind speed through the farm area.  
24th March 2017

Redirecting flight routes could reduce climate impact

Redirecting flight routes could reduce climate impact
According to new research, airlines could reduce their climate impact by up to ten percent in the future by optimising some flight routes. The study shows the cost to airlines of changing flight routes to avoid areas where emissions have the largest impact would be comparatively small – around a one percent increase in operating costs.
28th February 2017

Aquatic ferns could help to clean up messy oil spills

Aquatic ferns could help to clean up messy oil spills
Certain varieties of aquatic floating weeds demonstrate an impressive ability to selectively absorb oil from contaminated water. These plants, which are often regarded as a nuisance, could in fact provide an extremely convenient way of cleaning up messy oil spills. Scientists have been discovering what makes these plants so special.
16th August 2016

Researchers assess heatwave risks associated with climate change

Researchers assess heatwave risks associated with climate change
Combining climate and mortality data, researchers have estimated that 315 deaths in Greater London and 735 deaths in Central Paris can be strongly linked to the 2003 heatwave that set record-breaking temperatures across Europe. Taking their analysis a step further, they determine that 64 (± 3) deaths from the London dataset and 506 (± 51) deaths from the Paris dataset are attributable to anthropogenic climate change, which increased the risk of heat related mortality by 20% and 70%, respectively, in the two cities.
8th July 2016

Using statistics to predict rogue waves

Scientists have developed a mathematical model to derive the probability of extreme waves. This model uses multi-point statistics, the joint statistics of multiple points in time or space, to predict how likely extreme waves are. The results, published in the New Journal of Physics, demonstrate that evolution of these probabilities obey a well-known function, greatly reducing the complexity of the results.
11th March 2016

Satellite alerts can track small-scale deforestation

Satellite alerts can track small-scale deforestation
With data from satellites, there is generally a trade-off between resolution and the frequency of updates. This is the reason why most of the alerts already on Global Forest Watch, an interactive online forest monitoring and alert system designed to empower people everywhere with the information they need to better manage and conserve forest landscapes, are 500 or 250m resolution.
4th March 2016

A carbon fee is needed to tackle climate change

A carbon fee is needed to tackle climate change
A new study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters reports that current rising temperatures already noticeably load the ‘climate dice’, with growing practical impacts. As a bottom line, lead author Dr James Hansen, argues that a carbon fee is needed to spur replacement of carbon fuels with clean energy.
2nd March 2016


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