Science and the EnvironmentsSubscribe to Science and the Environments

Patterned feathers, previously thought to be used only for camouflage in birds, can play an important role in attracting a mate and fending off rivals, a University of Melbourne study reveals.

A price on carbon is back on the agenda following yesterday's announcement of a minority Gillard Government says Dr Peter Christoff of the Department of Resource Management and Geography at University of Melbourne, but an emissions trading scheme like the one pushed by Labor in its first term is unlikley.

“In securing Greens' support in the lower house, Labor agreed to the formation of a Climate Change Committee of experts and parliamentarians, to consider the issue of a carbon price. Its composition, mandate and timing are yet to be determined, but the three independents and the Green supporting Labor in the lower house will certainly hasten its work,” Dr Christoff says.

“However Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor both opposed the CPRS last year. Meanwhile, the Greens proposed an interim levy but rejected an emissions trading scheme - or any other measure - that rewards or exempts big polluters.”

“So an interim carbon levy, or an emissions scheme which excludes major compensation for big polluters, is now likely - especially once the Greens gain the casting vote in the Senate from the middle of next year," he says. 

The following text comes from the 2010 Hamer Oration held at the University of Melbourne on Thursday August 5, 2010.  The speech was given by Professor Ross Garnaut, a Vice Chancellor's Fellow and Professorial Fellow in Economics at the University. 

As the Federal Government formulates its climate policy, a new analysis released today, shows that political and social will, rather than technical feasibility and cost, are the key obstacles standing in the way of a 100 per cent renewable, zero emissions electricity supply system being implemented in Australia.

Australia could soon benefit from highly sensitive coloured x-ray imaging and powerful new tools to reveal the structure of materials in unprecedented detail and provide major advances in medicine and technology.

Researchers at the University of Melbourne have teamed up with the Sustainable Agriculture Fund (SAF) to tackle the challenges the Australian farming industry will face in maintaining productivity under a changing climate.

The evolution of bird bills is related to climate according to latest research by the University of Melbourne, Australia and Brock University, Canada.

For the first time, scientists have been able to observe matter falling into super massive black holes.

The mystery surrounding what happens when bubbles collide has finally been busted. And knowing how bubbles bounce apart and fuse together could improve the quality of ice-cream and champagne as well as increase efficiency in the mining industry.

An international workshop to reconstruct climate change history in the Australasian region is being held this week at the University of Melbourne on Monday 31 May to Wednesday 2 June 2010

Pages