Archives for category: Environment and meterology

German researchers have created devices that could fit into a shoe and harvest power from walking – this could power wearable sensors or even a self-lacing shoe. BBC News

This year’s amazing leaf colours have been ‘brewed’ over a long autumn

Mysterious sea circles that appear on the seabed near Denmark are created by eelgrass, and are a result of agricultural runoff. Hope you’re not too disappointed that it’s not fairies or aliens.

Eelgrass grows in clumps, with older plants in the middle and younger ones near the edge. The build-up of toxic sulphides from a combination of bacteria and agricultural runoff kills off the older and younger plants, leaving perfect circles of mid-aged grass.

Following a chemical ban in 2008, fewer female sea snails are developing male sexual organs, known as imposex.

A company in Bristol has used carbon dioxide and hydrogen to make methanol, which can then be processed into petrol. They have made five litres so far.

In the 2008 Olympics, Beijing managed to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 24,000 metric tons per day compared with the previous year. If this could be maintained, and if other large industrial cities did the same, this could make a big impact on global warming. During the Beijing Olympics, these reductions in air pollution were associated with improvements in biomarkers of systemic inflammation and thrombosis in young people (read the abstract).

Olympic Games 27 July – 12 August

Yes… because of the rotation of the earth, hurricanes spin anticlockwise north of the equator and clockwise south of it. But no… toilets and draining sinks DON’T!

From 20 Things You Didn’t Know About… Hurricanes from Discover Magazine

In the Mesozoic era, dinosaurs breaking wind (produced by bacteria in their guts) may have put 520 million tonnes of methane gas into the atmosphere every year. Methane is a greenhouse gas – this could explain why the temperature 150 million years ago was around 10 degrees C higher than it is now.

Read the abstract in Current Biology.

Carrying on the Easter theme – researchers at the University of Leicester are looking into how the glycosaminoglycans (long chains of sugars) in eggshells could be used to bulk out plastic in food packaging. This would save the eggshells going into landfill.

It only rains on Saturn’s moon Titan about once every thousand years. The rain is methane, and its the only place in the solar system other than the Earth that gets rain. the surface temperature is around -179 degrees C.

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