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ICESat: Space will get unprecedented view of Earth’s ice

ICESat: Space will get unprecedented view of Earth’s ice

Image copyright NASA Image caption Artwork: ICESat-2 fires 10,000 shots a second as it moves around the Earth The American space agency has launched a laser into orbit to measure the condition of Earth’s ice cover. The satellite mission, called ICESat-2, should provide more precise information on how these frozen surfaces are being affected by […]

Prickly cactus species ‘under threat’

Prickly cactus species ‘under threat’

Image copyright Richard Duebel Image caption Anton Brugger stands in his cactus nursery in Almeria, southern Spain The iconic cactus plant is veering into trouble say researchers. The most serious problem is illegal smuggling. Despite the international ban on uncontrolled trade in cacti, policing the smuggling faces many problems and semi-professional hunters continue to uproot […]

Intensive farming ‘least bad option’ for food and environment

Intensive farming ‘least bad option’ for food and environment

Image copyright Getty Images Intensive, high-yielding agriculture may be the best way to meet growing demand for food while conserving biodiversity, say researchers. But their study says the approach makes sense only if it is linked to more wilderness being spared the plough. Intensive farming is said to create high levels of pollution and damage […]

ICESat: Space laser to get unprecedented view of Earth’s ice

ICESat: Space laser to get unprecedented view of Earth’s ice

Image copyright NASA Image caption ICESat-2 fires 10,000 shots a second as it moves around the Earth The American space agency is about to put a laser in orbit to measure the condition of Earth’s ice cover. The satellite mission, called ICESat-2, should provide more precise information on how these frozen surfaces are being affected […]

Cities lead the way on curbing carbon emissions

Cities lead the way on curbing carbon emissions

Image copyright Chesnot Image caption A wind turbine installed in Paris ahead of the Cop21 climate conference in 2015 With many countries struggling to cut their carbon, new data suggests that major cities are making substantial strides to stem their emissions. Twenty-seven cities, including Warsaw, Barcelona and Sydney, saw CO2 peak in 2012 and then […]

Ig Nobel win for kidney stone removing roller-coaster

Ig Nobel win for kidney stone removing roller-coaster

Image copyright Jacob Ammentorp Lund Image caption Thrills, spills and kidney stone removal: Everything you could wish for from a roller-coaster ride Riding on some types of roller-coaster is an effective way of removing kidney stones. This is the conclusion of research that has won this year’s Ig Nobel Prize for Medicine. The US researchers […]

‘A single piece of plastic’ can kill sea turtles, says study

‘A single piece of plastic’ can kill sea turtles, says study

Image copyright Google A new study suggests that ingesting even a single piece of plastic can be deadly for sea turtles. Researchers found there was a one in five chance of death for a turtle who consumed just one item – rising to 50% for 14 pieces. The team found that younger turtles are at […]

Robots ahoy! Mapping Earth’s surface

Robots ahoy! Mapping Earth’s surface

Media captionSEA-KIT and its submersible work in tandem to map the sea floor One of the big favourites to win the ocean-mapping XPRIZE has formally confirmed its presence in the final. The GEBCO-Nippon Foundation Alumni Team has just completed 24-hour trials of its technology and is ready for the competition’s ultimate challenge. This requires a […]

Elephant birds: Who killed the largest birds that ever lived?

Elephant birds: Who killed the largest birds that ever lived?

Image copyright Zoological Society of London Image caption The bones of the elephant bird were found at Christmas River in Madagascar Prehistoric humans are under suspicion of wiping out the largest birds that ever lived after fossilised bones were discovered with telltale cut marks. According to scientists, it’s evidence that the elephant birds of Madagascar […]

Hen harrier disappears after satellite tag stops working

Hen harrier disappears after satellite tag stops working

Image copyright Guy Anderson Image caption Heulwen had left her nest in Gwynedd and had been flying across north Wales A rare bird of prey mysteriously disappeared when her satellite tag stopped transmitting after she flew across Snowdonia. Hen harrier Heulwen was last known to be near Ruabon Mountain, Wrexham, on 29 August. A tag […]