Fire patterns are linked to climate conditions, and have been undergoing changes in tandem with anthropogenic climate change. We must understand these changes to more effectively forecast and manage fires for both human safety and the preservation of biodiversity. Kate Bongiovanni explores Dr Luke Kelly’s work on “pyrodiversity.”
The transformative power of science suggests it should play a fundamental role in developing public policy, ensuring science informs debates about issues such as sustainable energy production, ecosystem protection, and genetic modification of food. However, using scientific knowledge to inform policy debate is not straightforward.
It can take hundreds of years for plastic to degrade alone, but nature may already have answers to our problem. For some organisms, plastic debris offers a food source; for many others, a literal life raft. When 8 to 10 million metric tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year, some of it provides a home to entire biological communities.
In 2020, Victoria still relied on coal for 69% of all electricity generation; however, the Victorian government has set a target of 40% renewable energy production by 2025 and 60% by 2030. If we harness our plentiful resources, we could be leading the charge in renewables. Led by the Gippsland Tech School, students are being challenged to design an entire city powered by renewables like hydrogen, solar, and wind energy.
“One of our research goals is to create transparent solar cells with a natural appearance so that they can be used as windows that generate solar power.” For solar window applications, a perovskite film with a thickness of no more than 600 nm is sufficient to achieve maximal light absorption. But reduced thickness also reduces potential power conversion efficiency.