Science/Nature

Aeolus: Space laser starts chasing the wind

Image copyright ESAImage caption Artwork: Developing the laser system took longer than anyone expected The British-built Aeolus satellite has begun firing its laser down on Earth to map the planet’s winds. It is a big moment for the European Space Agency mission, the technology for which took 16 years to develop. Launched two weeks ago […]

Science/Nature

‘Twitter mining’ for ants, spiders and birds

Image copyright Getty ImagesImage caption Scientists want to understand the influence of the environment on insect activity Twitter is set to become a very useful resource in the study of certain animal behaviours, scientists say. A new study trawled the public’s postings on the micro-blogging site to see if they accurately reflected some popular ecological […]

Science/Nature

The plastic smokers leave behind

Jason Alexander founded ‘Rubbish Walks’ to clean up his local area and beaches in Suffolk. He’s targeted cigarette butts, which, surprisingly to some, are mostly made of plastic, and collects thousands in a single outing. Video journalist Lucy Bickerton. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45426352

Science/Nature

Monster iceberg’s pivot and turn

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionStrong wind has blown the southern end of the berg out to sea The monster Antarctic iceberg A-68 looks finally to be on the move. For 13 months after breaking away from the White Continent’s long peninsula, the trillion-tonne block did little more than shuffle back and […]

Science/Nature

The tree that bleeds… metal?

Image copyright Antony Van der EntImage caption Nickel gives the latex of Pycnandra acuminata a peculiar blue-green colour Heavy metals like nickel and zinc are usually the last thing that plants want to grow next to in high concentrations. But a specialised group, known as hyperaccumulators, have evolved to take up the normally toxic metals […]