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Science and Environment
In praise of ... maize | EditorialGuardian Unlimited | 10 Apr 2011
One of the world's most successful food crops, maize could also prevent greenhouse emissions from flatulent cowsIt has a ring to it, but that is the only sound the world will hope to hear from the latest use for one of the world's most successful staple foods. Research at Reading University has found that increasing maize silage in the diet of cattle reduces the flatulence which accompanies their gentle rumination of the cud.
Is there a scientific consensus?Guardian Unlimited | 07 Apr 2011
Read about the project. Despite uncertainty about many of the details of climate change, there is a broad consensus among the world's most prestigious scientific bodies that the world is warming and that humans have played a significant role in creating that warming. Various studies have attempted...
Ireland climate victims' 'lifeboat'Yahoo! News | 06 Apr 2011
Ireland will act like a lifeboat for people fleeing drought rising seas and destructive weather in decades to come a leading climate change expert has warned.
A diet of insects by 2020?Guardian Unlimited | 31 Mar 2011
Insects could be the key to meeting food needs of growing global population Western diners should get used to the idea of eating insects because by 2020 it is "inevitable" they will form an important part of our diet, according to the entomologist who heads up the world's first university centre...
Goce satellite maps the Earth's gravity in unprecedented precisionGuardian Unlimited | 31 Mar 2011
Data from Europe's gravity-mapping satellite Goce is being used to investigate the geological processes that cause earthquakes. A European spacecraft that skims the upper reaches of the atmosphere has mapped Earth's gravity with unrivalled precision. The map shows how the pull of gravity varies minutely over the surface of the Earth, from deep ocean trenches to majestic mountain ranges.
Diet may reduce farm flatulenceYahoo! News | 29 Mar 2011
A change of diet could help flatulent farm animals reduce their greenhouse gas emissions a study has said.
Adder abnormalities lead to UK's first genetic survey of snakesGuardian Unlimited | 27 Mar 2011
Researchers want to find out if decreasing numbers of snakes caused by urbanisation has led to inbreeding among adders. With a quick dart of the arm, snake catcher Nigel Hand snares his prey and holds the wriggling adder aloft. The bronze snake, hissing and flicking out its black forked tongue, has...
New device boosts memory storageYahoo! News | 27 Mar 2011
Researchers in Scotland have helped to create a new device which improves memory storage for technology including MP3s smartphones and cameras.
Will rising seas put London under water?Guardian Unlimited | 14 Mar 2011
In its 2007 report, the IPCC projects that sea level will rise anywhere from 180mm to 590mm by 2090-2100. This range is smaller than in the IPCC's 2001 report, but it excludes some key uncertainties about how quickly warming will melt land-based ice. The last few years have seen glaciers accelerating their seaward flow in many spots along the margins of Greenland and West Antarctica.
Bee deaths may signal wider pollination threat: U.N.Reuters | 10 Mar 2011
OSLO (Reuters) - Mass deaths of bee colonies in many parts of the world may be part of a wider, hidden threat to wild insect pollinators vital to human food supplies, a U.N. study indicated on Thursday.
Science Weekly podcast: Colin Pillinger's mission to Mars; plus Lester Brown on climate changeGuardian Unlimited | 07 Mar 2011
Colin Pillinger - the man who led Britain's Beagle 2 mission to Mars in 2003 - tells us what he thinks happened to the lander, which fell silent after it separated from Mars Express, and criticises the European Space Agency's role in the project. Colin is speaking at an event at the Royal Geographical Society on Wednesday 16 March. His book My Life on Mars is out now and was reviewed for the Guardian Science Book Club in December.
Pull the levers of power in the UK with Decc's new carbon calculatorGuardian Unlimited | 03 Mar 2011
Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air by David MacKay, professor of physics at Cambridge University, was one of the 2008 cult hits for anyone with an interest in the green future of the planet. For the first time, the book laid out in great detail the options that the UK must choose from if we are to meet our stated goals of cutting emissions by 32% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.
Plane spotters and bubble blowers wanted for climate surveyGuardian Unlimited | 02 Mar 2011
Met Office and Royal Meteorological Society scientists call for participants in their research into how humans affect the climate. The UK public are being asked to blow bubbles and spot plane trails as part of a new national survey on the climate. The research, led by scientists at the Met Office...
Extreme winter weather linked to climate changeReuters | 01 Mar 2011
This winter's heavy snowfalls and other extreme storms could well be related to increased moisture in the air due to global climate change, a panel of scientists said on Tuesday.
Mass rat cull for remote UK islandGuardian Unlimited | 24 Feb 2011
Eradication programme aims to save millions of seabirds from invasive rats on South Georgia. Testing for the biggest rat eradication programme in history is beginning on a remote UK island in the south Atlantic. Scientists are preparing to drop poison in a limited area of South Georgia in a bid to save the world's most southern songbird from extinction and restore tens of millions of seabirds to the island's breeding grounds.
UK firm develops way to store hydrogenGuardian Unlimited | 24 Feb 2011
Cella Energy used nanotechnology to develop microbeads that can trap hydrogen and release it when heated. One of the biggest stumbling blocks on the road to hydrogen power has long been the difficulty in storing the fuel. Hydrogen atoms are so small that they can slip between the spaces in molecules of other materials, and the gas can be a hazard if it escapes. But a cheap and practical way of storing hydrogen has been developed by a British company.
Ancient megadroughts preview warmer climate: studyReuters | 23 Feb 2011
Ancient megadroughts that lasted thousands of years in what is now the American Southwest could offer a preview of a climate changed by modern greenhouse gas emissions, researchers reported on Wednesday.
Target 'black carbon', recommends UNGuardian Unlimited | 23 Feb 2011
Cutting the amount of soot we pour into the atmosphere, and emissions of methane from agriculture, would be one of the most powerful ways to tackle climate change, a new report from the United Nations environment programme (Unep) has concluded. Preventing "black carbon" - particles of soot from industry and cooking fires – from polluting the air would help to cut global warming by as much as 0.5C, and reduce warming in the Arctic by about two thirds by 2030.