Category: Geology and Geography

Thick air in mega-cities

Whether in Lagos, Tehran or Calcutta – in many cities and urban centres the population growth is enormous. Worldwide, there are currently already about 20 cities that have more than 10 million people, so-called mega-cities. Here, it is not only the number of inhabitants that is rising. With the growth, the environmental problems are also

Germany’s first offshore wind farm

After seven months of construction, Germany’s first offshore wind farm has gone into operation. “Alpha ventus” is the name of the 250 million euro facility located 45 kilometres off the North Sea island of Borkum. In the future, the wind farm will supply electricity for 50,000 households. Far off the coast they stand in 30-metre

Father Christmas comes in swimming trunks

This year, too, it is far too hot for Father Christmas in Sydney. While we in Europe are keeping warm with biscuits and mulled wine, in Australia it is high summer temperatures at the same time – over 30 degrees Celsius. Unfavourable conditions for a Christmas as we know it. But the Australians stick to

The permafrost thaws

The frozen soils of the Arctic are thawing faster than previously assumed due to climate change. This could release huge amounts of the greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere. This would further accelerate the warming of the Earth. Permafrost soils extend over huge areas in the northern hemisphere. They are mainly found in large parts

The rubbish in the sea goes on a merry-go-round

Every hour, 675 tonnes of rubbish end up in the world’s oceans, environmentalists estimate. About half of this is plastic. The bad thing about it is that the plastic does not simply rot like plants or paper. It can float in the water for centuries. The result can already be observed in the Northeast Pacific:

The tough battle for water

Long queues of people crowd in front of the wells in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare. Water is particularly scarce in the townships of the city of millions. Time and again there are fierce battles over the scarce commodity. The nearly three million inhabitants of Harare need twice as much water as is available. Only wealthy citizens

The first man on the moon

Tense waiting in the control centre. A series of warnings from the on-board computer almost led to the mission being aborted, and now this: the planned landing site is littered with small craters and boulders. Commander Neil Armstrong reaches for the control stick and tries to land the lunar module by hand. But fuel is

China shoots off rain clouds

It should be a perfect spectacle: The Summer Olympics in Beijing. The construction of the stadium alone, which is also called the “Bird’s Nest” because of its shape, took five years and cost the equivalent of 315 million euros. Of course, the perfect Olympics also require the weather to play along: No rain shower or

Chinese firecracker against evil monster

The noise is supposed to drive away the monster of the year, Nian – for this reason, the Chinese welcomed the New Year with a bombastic fireworks display on the night of 23 January. The New Year in China is the most important festival of the year and is celebrated for a fortnight with many

Chaos in the airspace over Europe

Following the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull on 20 March 2010, air traffic has been suspended in large parts of Europe. The eruption of the Icelandic glacial volcano had thrown a huge ash cloud kilometres high into the atmosphere. The volcanic eruption led to the longest-ever traffic ban in European airspace from 15 April 2010. Tens of

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