In the spotlight
Extreme heat in Europe is becoming the new normal — prompting tourists toward cooler destinations
More tourists are thought to be prioritizing milder temperatures or even off-season travel to avoid spending their time away in oppressive heat. Europe is currently experiencing some of the hottest temperatures of the summer so far, with yet another heatwave expected to push the mercury close to record-breaking levels in the coming days.
Corfu evacuated, as Greece ‘at war’ with wildfires set to last days
Devastating wildfires are continuing to sweep through Greece. Mass evacuations have been ordered on several Greek islands, with tens of thousands taken to safety. Searing temperatures and high winds are set to continue.
Rampant heatwaves threaten food security of entire planet, scientists warn
Successive heatwaves threaten nature’s ability to provide us with food, say researchers, as they warn of an “unseen, silent dying” in our oceans amid record temperatures scorching the Earth.
Heat-struck Mediterranean is climate change ‘hot spot’
Struck by near-record temperatures and wildfires during this week’s heatwave, the Mediterranean region is ranked as a climate-change “hot spot” by scientists. The beaches, seafood and heritage sites in the region spanning parts of southern Europe, northern Africa and western Asia are under threat.
AI: How far is China behind the West?
China has restated its goal to be the global leader in artificial intelligence (AI). When it comes to snooping on the public, the country has the edge but faces many other hurdles. The Chinese government has vowed to make the country a global AI leader by 2030.
AI Should Be Terrified of Humans
The year is 2050, and the world is caught in a battle for control between humans and computers. Who’s your money on? The idea of new technologies taking over the world and subjugating humans has been floating around the cultural consciousness for at least the last couple.
‘We need to consume less water and do so more intelligently’
Water is becoming increasingly scarce in different parts of the world. Will there be wars over water? There have never been real water wars in history. People fight over access to a well, to an oasis, but these are not wars.
Mobility & Energy
‘Fighting climate change’ also means ‘changing the way we live’
Last week, the European Parliament finally reached an agreement on implementing part of the so-called ‘EU Green Deal’. However, the debate exposed deep political divisions over the EU’s carbon neutrality targets: and elsewhere, there appears to be a public backlash against some of those commitments.
Science policy & Communication
No sign of deal on UK return to EU Horizon science programme
The UK’s return to the EU’s £85bn Horizon science research programme appears to be hanging by a thread after London’s request to quit the associated atomic research organisation, Euratom. The delays are causing huge anxiety in the scientific community.
Agriculture & Food
Have we reached peak fish?
Seafood is a vital source of protein for more than 3.3 billion people. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) projects the need for a 15% increase in global fish consumption by 2030; its director-general, QU Dongyu, calls the growth of fisheries and aquaculture “vital in our efforts to end global hunger and malnutrition”.
EU-Morocco fisheries deal stuck pending court decision on self-determination claim
A long-standing multi-million euro fisheries deal between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco expired on Monday (17 July) due to a dispute over its legality and the inclusion of Western Sahara’s representatives in the negotiations, pending a decision from the EU’s highest court.
Bacteriophages: ‘Good virus’ fights bad bacteria
They are friendly viruses that hunt and kill bacteria. With antibiotic resistance rising, scientists think bacteriophages could cure bacterial infections. Bacteriophages are antibacterial viruses that could help fight antibacterial resistant forms of infectious diseases.
Tackling disinformation in Europe: AI4TRUST
AI4TRUST is a highly collaborative initiative funded by the Horizon Europe Programme and involving consortium partners from 11 countries. Participants will combine state-of-the-art AI capabilities to enhance human-centered solutions in ways best suited to prevent, detect and respond to disinformation in Europe.
Commission proposes 10 new industrial Horizon Europe partnerships
Policymakers will have to decide whether to back partnerships in new sectors, including brain health, forestry, solar photovoltaics and raw materials. The plan for the next Horizon Europe partnerships that are due to start from 2025 is finally on the table.
Is it worth moving to Spain if the summers are so unbearably hot?
Is Spain ready for it to get hotter? One big draw about living in Spain is its outdoors lifestyle. People eat al fresco year-round in some areas but this is becoming increasingly unfeasible during the summer months when even after midnight the mercury can linger above 30C, making it almost impossible to sleep for many.