Yesterday I learnt that it is us

Us. We who live in cities. We who are employed. We who are academics. We who are food secure. We who have air conditioning. We who drive cars. We who write about how climate change affects vulnerable communities from the comfort of the conference couch within cable distance of the plug. We who attend said…

Free solar power for N. Cape households

Oxpeckers’ Tholakele Nene finds out how giant solar power projects are making a difference to rural lives affected by climate change in semi-desert areas of the Northern Cape Households in dusty Groenwater, a dirt-poor rural neighbourhood in the Northern Cape, no longer need candles to light up the night, or to burn wood for heating water during…

What are the standards that bottled water have to live up to?

[WATCH] this episode of Joburg TV and learn more about how bottled water is produced. Annually around 500 million litres of bottled water are sold in the country, according to the South African National Bottled Water Association. Marize de Klerk and the JoburgToday.tv team found out how quality bottled water gets to supermarkets They also talk…

Why South Africa is finding it difficult to wean itself off coal

South Africa has made domestic and international commitments to climate change mitigation. But the country continues to depend on coal-fired power plants, which provide 92% of its electricity. A key challenge for the country in dealing with electricity shortages is that the bulk of power comes from coal, which is harmful for the environment and…

Eight water data projects from last weekend’s SKAHack

While the past week may have seen massive downpours, it doesn’tmean the drought and water shortages are over. This is why Geekulcha hosted its most recent hackathon – the SKAHack – to encourage developers to help find solutions for problems in their community. Named after the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), SKAHack was held in the Eastern Cape…

Green diamonds of the Witwatersrand reveal earth’s shifty secrets

A group of researchers at the Wits School of Geosciences have pin-pointed the age at which the earth’s plate tectonics began. Their results were recently published in an article in the Nature Geosciences journal. In an interview with SciBraai, lead author on the paper, Katie A. Smart, explained the significance of the study. “We are…

West Coast lobster not worried about climate change?

The West Coast rock lobster’s natural ability to adapt to varying environmental conditions may be its saving grace when it comes to climate change. This is according to research conducted by aquaculture scientist Dr Jarred Lee Knapp of Stellenbosch University. His research shows that these crustaceans have a natural ability to physiologically adapt to rising sea temperatures…

Some truths about lightning: when thunder roars, go indoors

There are many myths about lightning. Almost all cultures on Earth have their own beliefs about what causes it, writes Ryan Blumenthal, a senior specialist at the University of Pretoria, in The Conversation Africa. Firstly, we need to know how to think critically about lightning. Why are there so many myths about lightning? Could it be that…

[LISTEN] The Science Inside: The drought episode

This week The Science Inside radio show looks at the drought and water crisis hitting South Africa. Find out exactly where your water comes from with Dean Muruven from WWF SA’s #JourneyOfWater and take a look at how Cirrus Water Management is using atmospheric water generation to make water out of thin air. With the help…

Better get used to this heat

When the maximum temperature approaches 36 degrees around 2pm in Jozi, I’m like, screw this, I’m done; let’s pick it up after dark. And then I thank the flying spaghetti monster I’m not in Pretoria right now. I’m lucky enough to have that kind of flexibility, and many other people are lucky enough to enjoy…