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Think: Sustainability - March 26 2017

Bee populations around the globe are in crisis, what can we do to save them? Also, what is thunderstorm asthma and how will it get worse with climate change?

The future of seafood - what is aquaculture?

In Australia, the average person consumes around 25 kilograms of seafood each year... times that by our national population, and that figure reaches 500,000 tonnes annually.

Sourcing seafood will need to adopt a more sustainable practice as we move forward - and as we've seen in some global situations, overfishing can result in the destruction of habitats and important marine ecosystems.

One such alternative, and an industry worth $226 million dollars in NSW alone, is aquaculture.

Could thunderstorm asthma worsen with climate change?

In November last year, a thunderstorm hit Victoria that resulted in 8500 people seeking hospital treatment and ten fatalities in the week after the storm hit.

This wasn't due to lightning, heavy rain or flooding - it was because of pollen.

Last week, a group of medical researchers and scientists met in Victoria at the Thunderstorm Asthma Symposium to look at what happened last November, how we can deal with these events and more generally, what is thunderstorm asthma?

The mite that's killing our bee populations

Tomatoes, apples, pears, kiwi fruit, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, watermelon, cucumber - you literally name anything you find in a grocer and there's a good chance that it's had a meet and greet with a bee at some point.

Bees are hugely responsible for the pollination of many of our crops and produce.

But recently, things haven't been looking so good for global bee populations.

Pesticide use, changes in climate conditions and destruction of habitats are just some of the stresses bees are facing - but one that's rapidly killing bee colonies worldwide is a tiny little mite, called a varroa mite.

Do we need to regulate drone use on Antarctica?

Different countries hold territorial claims over certain parts of the continent, but when it comes to the actual policy protecting Antarctica, this is where we look to international law.

A number of international treaties oversee the ways in which we protect the continent from human induced harm.

But one type of activity which has gained growing criticism from the conservationist community is the use of drone technologies.

Drone use is currently under a moratorium on the continent, but some Antarctica experts are beckoning the question 'do we need to regulate drone use in Antarctica?'.

The challenges Antarctica is facing due to climate change

Increase in global temperatures, fluctuating weather conditions and loss of habitats are just some of the challenges that human induced activity is presenting for the icy lanscape of Antarctica.

Climate change induced events are also having significant impacts on marine ecosystems, the organisms and structures that hold together life itself on the continent.

Katherina Petrou is from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Technology Sydney and just under a week ago returned from a research voyage to the continent.

She retells first hand how climate change is shaping the landscape after witnessing it firsthand. 

Do you accept 'There is no hope' for Antarctica?

In 2014, artist Todd McMillan set out on an Antarctic voyage. 

While he was there, Todd spent most of his time capturing the desert landscape of the icy continent to then create the photographic series 'There is no hope'. 

A bleak yet confronting look at the realities Antarctica faces, Todd's art beckons you to consider if climate science is saying the situation is only worsening and that there is no hope for regeneration, are you willing to accept that ideal that there is none?

Think: Sustainability - 19 March 2017

This week we look at two different angles of how we need to work to preserve Antarctica - the international law and policy in place to protect it, and the science telling us what's happening now, and what's going to happen in the future.

Climate change to bring on more severe flight turbulence

Think back to the last time you flew abroad - did you experience any turbulence on the flight?

More and more international travellers are reporting recent experiences of severe turbulence, and that's not just during take off or landing. 

Clear air turbulence is unexpected turbulence that usually happens mid-flight, and pressures from climate change are making these bumpy rides even more unpleasant.

Keeping the weaving traditions of Kullu alive

Weaving, vegetable dying and knitting are some of the major export industries for Kullu, a small capital town wedged in between the mountains of the Himalayas.

But as generations pass these traditions could potentially be lost, due to competition with fast fashion industry and the younger generations pursuing other professions.

Global Studios, a field trip subject offered at the University of Technology Sydney, invited a group of a dozen design students to travel to Kullu and learn some of these practices first hand. 

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