In this issue

Issue 39


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‘Solar farms‘ for the outback?
The Northern Territory has largely relied on oil for power generation. Most centres have their own small generating diesel-plants; larger power-generating and distribution systems exist only in areas around Darwin and Alice Springs, which is about to change over to natural gas.
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The atmosphere after a nuclear war
We easily dismiss the horror of nuclear war as beyond our imaginings. It's not easy to come to grips with the fact that we have created an arsenal of nuclear weapons that is poised to deliver world-wide death and destruction.
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Phytoplankton: pastures of the ocean
Grazing herbivores on land feed on plants, which convert carbon dioxide into organic matter in the presence of sunlight. But what happens on the 70% of the planet's surface covered by water? What are the organisms at the base of the ocean's food chains and how do they get their energy from the sun? How productive, in this sense, are Australian seas?.
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Checking the safety of solution mining
Last year the South Australian government rejected a proposal to mine uranium from the Honeymoon deposit in the north-east of the State. The enterprise would have been the first Australian commercial application of solution mining to a virgin deposit. The technique has been used in the United States for uranium recovery for nearly 20 years, however, and it now accounts for more than 10% of that country's uranium production.
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Vegetable oil esters as fuels
One of the diesel engine's greatest assets is its ability to burn a broad range of fuels. Your tolerant diesel will even run on vegetable oil taken straight from the supermarket shelf.
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Smelting by submerged combustion
Mount Isa Mines Ltd believes it may have found a much more energy-efficient alternative to the traditional reverberatory furnace.
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Landsat aids disease eradication
Mustering cattle with the help of satellites sounds an unlikely Orwellian mix of Animal Farm and 1984. Yet Big Brother, alias the Landsat IV Satellite, is helping Australian agricultural experts pinpoint areas of the country hiding undetected diseased cattle.
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Fertilizing with sewage sludge
Sewage sludge has long been used, in limited quantities, as a fertilizer because it contains appreciable amounts of plant nutrients. Organic matter in the sludge can also improve the structure and water-holding capacity of the soil.
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Letters to ECOS
I protest at the disgraceful misquotation from the report to Parliament of the first Western Australian Conservator of Forests (C.E. Lane-Poole) perpetrated by ECOS in its review of 'Extinct and Endangered Australian Plants' by J.E. Leigh et al appearing under the title 'Native plants facing extinction' in ECOS 37, page 24.
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How the mouse got its zig-zag hair
Observing the miracle of living, moving creatures, we are struck by their marvellously intricate form and co-ordinated activity
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