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Space weather

Dr Noel Nelson, the current Chair of the IES, is an environmental scientist presently working on the role the atmosphere and the weather plays in transmitting a wide range of animal related diseases. Noel has always had an interest in space and astronomy, and in this blog explores what we know about space weather, the disruption it can cause to us on Earth, and why space weather forecasting is important.

Brexit is no mandate to unravel environmental protection

In the wake of the referendum result, many in the environmental and science communities are shocked and concerned about the future.

The UK now faces much uncertainty regarding the future of funding for some scientific research, as well as the freedom of movement for researchers and students. Meanwhile, many of the laws and initiatives on which we have relied for several decades to protect our environment have their roots in EU legislation, and there is no guarantee that such protections will be retained once obligations to implement these Directives cease.

CCS in the UK: has it gone up in smoke?

The day after George Osborne published the 2015 Autumn Statement, an announcement to the London Stock Exchange declared something unexpected: the £1bn ring-fenced capital budget for a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) competition would no longer be available. This funding was to demonstrate CCS technology commercially on a power plant in the UK. The deadline for bids was less than six weeks away when the announcement was made.

We need to talk about ESOS

Despite it being their legal requirement, UK businesses are failing to undertake energy audits under the new ESOS scheme. Compliance will save them money and work towards fulfilling their corporate sustainability goals, so why are so few undertaking audits? And is the administrator of the scheme, the Environment Agency, culpable?

Putting freshwater ecosystem services at the heart of planning

Remarkably, MPs received more letters about bees from their constituents in August this year than any other issue – evidence that long-held concerns from scientists about the importance of ecosystem services are gaining ground in the public consciousness. Ecosystem services are no longer the ‘next big thing’ but are of immediate concern and importance to society. Freshwater ecosystem services are highly relevant to many of society’s current challenges, such as flooding, security of water supply, and climate resilience.

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