New Scientist 11-Sep-21

New Scientist covers the latest developments in science and technology that will impact your world. New Scientist employs and commissions the best writers in their fields from all over the world. Our editorial team provide cutting-edge news, award-winning features and reports, written in concise and clear language that puts discoveries and advances in the context of everyday life today and in the future.

United Kingdom
New Scientist Ltd
51 期号


elsewhere on new scientist

Academy General relativity The fifth in our fantastic range of online courses is out now. Discover how ideas about black holes, gravitational waves and the expanding universe all emerged from Albert Einstein’s general relativity, and why this theory remains at the forefront of cosmology. You will be taught by expert physicists and can learn at your own pace. Events The science of a healthier, happier life The world isn’t short of health gurus, but few of them have evidence on their side like our experts Graham Lawton and Helen Thomson. Catch them at our latest free subscriber event looking at all aspects of physical and mental health. Join us on 30 September from 6pm BST (1pm EDT). Get your tickets now. Podcasts Weekly The world’s largest shipping company, Maersk, has bought ships that can run on both traditional…

hitting the targets

LIVING to a ripe old age owes a fair amount to luck, but if science can tell us anything about health, it is that our judgement matters, too. The way we live our lives and the way we treat our bodies can make a huge difference to our chances of having a long and healthy life. This is the basic message encoded in the generic health targets that we all carry in our heads: five pieces of fruit or veg a day, 8 hours of sleep, 10,000 steps, 2000 calories and so on. Yet on closer inspection, many of the best-known nuggets of health advice owe more to marketing and folklore than they do to science. The 10,000 steps per day that so many people aim to take seem to have been…

school surge warning

THE UK government was expected to soon give the go-ahead for vaccinating 12 to 15 year olds in England as New Scientist went to press. But with children already back at school, this may come too late to prevent a surge in cases. Rising infection rates have already been seen in the US and Scotland following the start of term. “Vaccination, even if started now, would be insufficient to control the surge from schools re-opening in September,” says Deepti Gurdasani at Queen Mary University of London. In the US, cases in children have increased fivefold, rising from 38,000 in the week ending 22 July to nearly 204,000 by 26 August, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The ages used to define “children” vary from state to state. In Scotland, where children returned…

keep it in the ground

ENERGY companies and nations must leave nine-tenths of Earth’s coal and almost two-thirds of its oil and gas in the ground if the world is to hold temperatures to below 1.5°C of global warming, a target beyond which climate change’s impacts are dangerously amplified, researchers have calculated. Their analysis of which fossil fuel reserves are effectively “unextractable” if we are to meet the Paris Agreement temperature pledge makes the situation look dire for petrostates. Globally, oil and gas production must fall by 3 per cent a year to meet the target. “We’re painting quite a bleak picture for the future of the global fossil fuel industry,” says James Price at University College London (UCL), who was part of the team behind the analysis. Price and his colleagues built on an influential 2015…

co2 maps reveal climate impact of commuting

HIGH-RESOLUTION maps of carbon emissions have revealed how our day-to-day patterns of behaviour, such as commuting, affect the release of greenhouse gases, possibly helping governments see the impact of green policies. Zhu Liu at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and his colleagues combined data from various sources to provide daily global maps of carbon dioxide emissions down to a 10-kilometre resolution. The researchers used country level emission inventories, data from industrial sites and power plants, satellite measurements of nitrogen dioxide and modelling estimates to create the maps. This allowed them to assess differences between weekend and weekday carbon emissions from ground transportation. They found that emissions fall at the weekend due to a lack of commuters ( The weekend-weekday difference was smaller in 2020 compared with 2019 due to lockdowns and home-working policies implemented…

battle over new uk coal mine puts climate commitments to the test

THE fate of the UK’s potential first deep coal mine in 30 years will be fiercely debated at a public inquiry this week, in a big test of new fossil fuel projects as nations are pushed to ramp up net-zero goals. The mooted Woodhouse Colliery near Whitehaven, Cumbria, has escalated from a local planning issue to a national one with global ramifications as the UK prepares to host the COP26 climate summit in November. Supporters say the mine will provide desperately needed jobs for the region and displace coal imports. Critics highlight the carbon dioxide emissions from coal and say it risks undermining the crucial climate conference. The mine proposed by West Cumbria Mining (WCM), which is backed by an Australian private equity group, would produce about 2.8 million tonnes of coking coal…