News from within the SENSE network
Floating houses, self-driving cars, deer in the floodplains, streams with waterfalls, and greenery instead of asphalt. Welcome to the city of 2120. Contrary to what doomsday scenarios would have you believe, you can also work towards an attractive and prosperous city in a world of climate change. Research associates of Wageningen University & Research designed a scenario for the city of the future with Arnhem as the example. Their aim is to challenge cities to start thinking about their climate resistance for the long term.
A key goal of science is to help society solve today’s wicked challenges and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Most of these challenges are urgent and require reliable, trustworthy, and high-quality research. The benefits of Open Science (OS) strongly overlap with these requirements since OS aims to make research more verifiable, transparent, and reusable. However, OS is currently not the norm in academia due to cultural and technical obstacles. This course aims to overcome these obstacles through a conceptual and a practical overview of OS principles.
Dano Roelvink, IHE Delft Professor of Coastal Engineering and Port Development, has received the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS) in recognition of his global leadership in coastal engineering and research.
We speak to Dr. Kamonashish Haldar (Wageningen University) about 'Circular Economy,' a model of production and consumption that involves sharing, leasing, refurbishing, and recycling of materials and products. This is not just an ethical choice - in the current scenario of scarce resources and environmental degradation, it also makes good business sense.
Microplastic particles in the environment and in our food and drinking water are extremely diverse and complex. This makes it difficult to determine the risks to humans and the environment. Researchers of Wageningen University & Research now provide the first mathematical framework to assess the risks of these particles.
Dutch policy focuses too much on technological innovations and loses sight of the bigger picture of a sustainable future when it comes to plastic. That is what Utrecht University researchers found after analysing the transition to a sustainable circular plastics economy in the Netherlands. Current policy focuses on end of pipe solutions and technological innovations which, according to the researchers, will likely not reduce the human and environmental health impact of plastic production, consumption, and recovery. They give ten recommendations meant to integrate the full social, political and ecological implication of a circular future. These recommendations prioritise reducing virgin plastic consumption, establishing eco-design requirements, and promoting re-usable alternatives to plastics.
The level of pesticides in Dutch groundwater is on the rise. Bad news, as two-thirds of our drinking water is derived from groundwater. ‘The concentrations are low, but we are increasingly better able to monitor pollutants in the measuring wells’, says co-supervisor Nora Sutton of the Environmental Technology group (WUR). ‘Water remains in the ground for an average of three decades, so we are measuring the future pollution. The water companies must purify these because our tap water is clean and safe.’
Large-scale deforestation, forest restoration, forest fires, and droughts all have one thing in common: most research on these topics focuses on forest ecosystems' impact on carbon storage and release. Other effects of forests are less often explored, such as their effect on water cycles, climate, and daily weather. A recent study shows that local forest areas affect cloud formation differently in temperate and tropical regions.
A global coalition of leading scientists,among which the SENSE researchers: Frank Biermann (UU), Jeroen Oomen (UU), Aarti Gupta (WU), Maarten A. Hajer (UU), is calling for an International Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering. They argue that solar geoengineering deployment cannot be fairly governed globally and poses unacceptable risk if implemented as a future climate policy option.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has opened registration for the Government and Expert Review of the Draft of the Summary for Policymakers and longer report of the Sixth Assessment Synthesis Report. As of today, interested experts can register for participation in the review. The Government and Expert Review of the Synthesis Report of the Sixth Assessment Report will take place from 10 January to 20 March 2022. Registration of experts closes on 13 March 2022, one week before the end of the review.