Following a miserable spring, Britons can look forward to a spell of summery heat this weekend as a weather pattern called an African plume brings soaring temperatures as high as 30°C. This warm weather provides the perfect opportunity to gather friends and family and fire up the barbecue. But before lighting the grill, it’s worth considering the impact your meal could have on the environment.

Remarkably, a typical barbecue is responsible for the release of more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than a 170-mile car journey – mainly due to what’s on the menu and how it is cooked. However, according to Sarah Bridle from the University of York, you reduce your barbecue’s environmental footprint by following a few simple tips. The good news for beer lovers is that one of them is to get a keg.

Plus, we explain the recent discovery of a virgin birth, not invovling a deity but rather an American crocodile that’s been in isolation for 16 years. And here’s what the recent Ukraine dam breach means for the country’s long-awaited counteroffensive.

Sam Phelps

Commissioning Editor, Environment

Before you fire up for barbecue season, make sure to consider the environmental impact of your meal. Milan Ilic Photographer/Shutterstock

Five ways to make your summer barbecue better for the environment

Sarah Bridle, University of York

Everyone loves a barbecue – here’s how to enjoy it while being mindful of our planet.


Crocodile’s ‘virgin birth’ is a first for science’s history books

Louise Gentle, Nottingham Trent University

Virgin motherhood is no myth – sharks, birds and lizards can hatch from unfertilised eggs.

The destruction of the dam has caused massive flooding of nearby villages and in Kherson. Nicolas Cleuet/Le Pictorium/Alamy

What Ukraine dam breach means for the country’s counteroffensive and aid deployment

Christopher Morris, University of Portsmouth

Ground flooded by the Nova Kakhovka dam’s destruction may struggle to bear the weight of tanks and artillery.


African plumes bring heat of the Sahara to UK – but climate change could make them less frequent

Richard Washington, University of Oxford

Heatwaves are often the result of these bursts of warm, southerly air.


Breastfeeding linked to higher GCSE results: how to understand the nuance behind the numbers – and the lack of support for parents

Amy Brown, Swansea University

Child development is always more complex than whether a baby is breastfed or not, as multiple factors affect our health.

Dr Alan Grant (Sam Neill) tries to lure a T. rex away from the kids trapped inside an overturned Jeep. Everett Collection Inc/Alamy

Jurassic Park at 30: how its CGI revolutionised the film industry

Peter Hodges, University of South Wales

Jurassic Park was released on the big screen in June 1993 and changed cinema for good.

Politics + Society

Arts + Culture

Business + Economy



Science + Technology


More newsletters from The Conversation for you:

Ukraine Recap • Imagine climate action • Global Economy & Business • Europe newsletter

About The Conversation

We're a nonprofit news organisation dedicated to helping academic experts share ideas with the public. We can give away our articles thanks to the help of universities and readers like you.

Donate now to support research-based journalism


Featured events

View all
Reading Emotions

15 - 16 June 2023 • Reading

Bookshops Online and On the High Street

3 - 4 July 2023 • Reading

Promote your event

Contact us here to have your event listed.

For sponsorship opportunities, email us here