The Elgin drilling platform in the North Sea, off the east coast of Scotland, has been leaking natural gas since 25 March, 2012. As New Scientist went to press, Total, the company in charge, was still considering ways to stem the flow.
As the seas rise, so will the costs associated with them. The impact of climate change on oceans alone could cost $2 trillion by the end of the century, according to a report by the Stockholm Environment Institute in Sweden.
From the safety of a computer screen in the control room, I can see a robot scoop up a chunk of asbestos from the reactor floor. I am at Sellafield, the nuclear complex on the coast of Cumbria in north-west England, watching remotely controlled machinery crawl through the defunct Windscale Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactor, gradually stripping out the last of its guts. The mammoth task of dismantling the reactor started in the early 1990s but is only now finally nearing completion.