How the Australian wildfires devastated the ozone layer

00:47 Wildfire smoke’s chemical composition enhances ozone depletion

Smoke from the devastating Australian wildfires of 2019-2020 led to a reduction in ozone levels in the upper atmosphere, but it’s been unclear how. Now, a team proposes that smoke’s particulate matter can enhance the production of ozone depleting chemicals, matching satellite observations during the Australian fires. The results spark concerns that future wildfires, which are set to grow more frequent with ongoing climate change, will undo much of the progress towards restoration of the ozone layer.

Research article: Solomon et al.

News & Views: How wildfires deplete ozone in the stratosphere

08:27 Research Highlights

A global analysis of bats reveals the species most likely to be hunted by humans, and the stem cells that allow deer antlers to regrow.

Research Highlight: Big bats fly towards extinction with hunters in pursuit

Research Highlight: Mice grow ‘mini-antlers’ thanks to deers’ speedy stem cells

10:53 Modelling food systems with ‘digital twins’

Recent global crises have highlighted the fragility of the interconnected systems involved in getting food from farm to fork. However, siloed datasets have made it hard to predict what the exact impacts of these events will be. In a World View for Nature, researcher Zia Mehrabi argues that precise virtual models like those used in the aerospace industry should be developed for food systems. These so-called ‘digital twins’ could inform global food policy before emergencies unfold.

World View: Sims-style ‘digital twin’ models can tell us if food systems will weather crises

18:17 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, what the stray dogs of Chernobyl could reveal about the effects of chronic radiation exposure, and the debate surrounding the fate of Pablo Escobar’s ‘cocaine hippos’.

News: What Chernobyl’s stray dogs could teach us about radiation

News: Pablo Escobar’s ‘cocaine hippos’ spark conservation row

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