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November 2012

Welcome to the blog, you can read all about the latest news for the sections and take a look in our archive. Scroll through the latest posts below, or select a section from the dropdown.

Persuasive technology, the environment and kettles that answer back – Birmingham Café Scientifique, 6 November 2012

David Chapman

Anyone who has picked up a newspaper or watched the news on television in the past few weeks can hardly fail to notice the huge amount of coverage dedicated to the American Presidential election.

By the year 2050, the world’s population is predicted to have risen from 6.8 billion to 9 billion. Feeding them all, without damaging the environment or contributing to climate change, is acknowledged to be one of the major challenges facing world governments.

Last month, the problem of ‘Feeding the Nine Billion’ was explored at a session at the British Science Festival in Aberdeen. A panel of experts explored the issues surrounding global food demand from four different perspectives – nutrition, livestock, resource management, and economics.

Increasingly, we are becoming more and more dependent on power and communication systems in many different aspects of our daily lives. This leaves us even more susceptible to disruption during particularly violent periods of solar weather.

Bad solar storms could potentially shutdown electricity power grids around the UK if the position of electrical power transformers is not moved in order to cope with powerful geomagnetic induced currents (GIC) caused by coronal mass ejections (CME) from the Sun.