Ozone hole over the South Pole shrinks

Ozone hole over the South Pole shrinks

Image © NASA Ozonewatch

Image © NASA Ozonewatch

Man-made ozone hole near the South Pole shrinks according to scientists because of the warm upper air this September and October.

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The U.S. space agency says on average the ozone hole above the Antarctica, covers 8.1 million square miles (20.9 million sq. kilometres) this season, which is 6 per cent smaller than the average since 1990.

Ozone shields Earth from ultraviolet radiation.

Paul A. Newman NASA chief atmospheric scientist says:

“The main reason for this year’s result is local weather. The upper air has been warmer than normal, which led to fewer polar stratospheric clouds. These clouds are where ozone is destroyed by chlorine and bromine, which come from man-made products.”

James Butler, director of the global monitoring division at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth System Research Lab, added:

“Sort of encouraging news. It’s not getting worse. That’s a good sign.”

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read more Telegraph

source U.S. space agency

Source: Worldlesstech

Gold Grows on Trees

Gold Grows on Trees

Image © CSIRO

Image © CSIRO

Scientists found gold in leaves of Eucalyptus trees in the Kalgoorlie region of Western Australia. Gold particles are from the earth via their root system and depositing it their leaves and branches.

Scientists from CSIRO made the discovery and have published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

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The Eucalypt acts as a hydraulic pump – its roots extend tens of metres into the ground and draw up water containing the gold.

As the gold is likely to be toxic to the plant, it’s moved to the leaves and branches where it can be released or shed to the ground.

CSIRO geochemist Dr Mel Lintern, said:

“The leaves could be used in combination with other tools as a more cost effective and environmentally friendly exploration technique.

By sampling and analysing vegetation for traces of minerals, we may get an idea of what’s happening below the surface without the need to drill. It’s a more targeted way of searching for minerals that reduces costs and impact on the environment.

Eucalyptus trees are so common that this technique could be widely applied across Australia. It could also be used to find other metals such as zinc and copper.

Image © CSIRO

Image © CSIRO

Principal scientist at the Australian Synchrotron Dr David Paterson, said:

“Our advanced x-ray imaging enabled the researchers to examine the leaves and produce clear images of the traces of gold and other metals, nestled within their structure.

Before enthusiasts rush to prospect this gold from the trees or even the leaf litter, you need to know that these are tiny nuggets, which are about one-fifth the diameter of a human hair and generally invisible by other techniques and equipment.”

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via gizmag

source CSIRO

Source: Worldlesstech

The Devastating Effects of Pollution in China

The Devastating Effects of Pollution in China

The coal-mining town of Linfen in Shanxi Province, China, is the single most polluted place on earth, where kids play in dirty rivers and the sun sets early behind a thick curtain of smog.

 

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SenseFly drones generate an detailed 3D model

SenseFly drones generate an detailed 3D model

SenseFly drones generate a detailed 3D model of the Matterhorn. Thanks to a Pix4D software, the pictures it took generated a 300-million-points georeferenced 3D model of the mountain.

EPFL spin-off SenseFly recently launched a small swarm of lightweight “eBee” drones around the Matterhorn, in the Swiss Alps.

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Giant Oarfish ‘Sea Serpent’ Found Off California VIDEO Snorkeller Finds Monster ‘Serpent’

Giant Oarfish ‘Sea Serpent’ Found Off California VIDEO Snorkeller Finds Monster ‘Serpent’

The 5.5m carcass – which needed 16 people to bring it ashore – will be buried in sand before it is reconstructed for display.

A marine biologist has made the discovery of a lifetime – the five-metre-long silvery carcass of the creature belived to be the origin of sea serpent legends.

Jasmine Santana of the Catalina Island Marine Institute (CIMI) was snorkelling with colleagues in Toyon Bay, southern California when she spotted something shimmering in the water.

She dragged the eel-like beast by the tail for more than 20m, others waded in to the sea and helped her bring it to shore.

After taking a closer look she discovered it was an oarfish, which can grow up to 15m.

“Jasmine Santana was shocked to see (a) half-dollar sized eye staring at her from the sandy bottom,” the institute said in a statement.

“Her first reaction was to approach with caution, until she realised that it was dead.”

Oarfish are deep-water pelagic fish and the longest bony fish in the world, according to CIMI.

Because oarfish dive more than 3,000 feet (914 metres) deep, sightings of the creatures are rare and they are largely unstudied.

“We’ve never seen a fish this big,” said Mark Waddington, senior captain of the Tole Mour, CIMI’s sail training ship.

“The last oarfish we saw was three feet long.”

Tissue samples and video footage were sent to be studied by biologists at the University of California in Santa Barbara.

It will be buried in the sand until it decomposes and then its skeleton will be reconstructed for display.

The fish apparently died of natural causes.

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Why Do Autumn Leaves Change Color?

Why Do Autumn Leaves Change Color?

Scientific American editor Mark Fischetti explains how the leaves of deciduous trees perform their annual chameleon act, changing from various shades of green to hues of bronze, orange and brilliant red.

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