Kangaroos — standing up to be counted
One of the recurring areas of controversy surrounding the management of kangaroos in Australia is the question of just how many there are in the country. The answer is not easy to come by. How do you census such a mobile animal over an area of almost 7 million square kilometres?
Whirlpools off the eastern coast
Scientists are beginning to understand a remarkable play of ocean hydrodynamics being staged in the Tasman Sea. They are observing giant whirlpools, rather similar to the diminutive ones seen peeling off an oar when it's drawn through the water.
Drought and the El Nino phenomenon
Because we live on the world's most drought-prone continent and the Australian economy depends so heavily upon reliable harvests from dryland crops and pastures, understanding — and possibly predicting — droughts is a major concern of all. While much remains to be learnt, research has begun to throw light on the causes of Australia's devastating droughts.
Bushfire mapping by infra-red scanner
This picture was taken last summer, 3 days after the Ash Wednesday disaster. Recorded by an infra-red scanner aboard the CSIRO Fokker F-27, it clearly shows the front of a big fire still burning strongly near Warburton, in Victoria's heavily timbered Upper Yarra Valley.
How draughty is your home?
If the wind whistles through your house when it blows, you could, during winter in southern Australia, be losing 20% of your precious heating energy. Most householders recognize the benefits of insulating, but not so many are aware of the heat escaping through the crack under the door.
Australian trees make a greener globe
As you read this article, hundreds of hectares of the world's forests are being cut down. In Asia and the Pacific alone, deforestation continues at the alarming rate of 5000 ha a day, according to a joint study by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Another look at the flu virus
The influenza virus has experienced a most comprehensive dissection over the past 40 years. All of its genes have been sequenced, the protein products of those genes have been identified, and the frequent changes in the virus have been mapped. Because of their importance in the virus's evolution and interaction with man, two proteins embedded in the viral coat, haemagglutinin and neuraminidase, have attracted most interest.
Dingoes: going to the dogs?
There is more dog to many a dingo than meets the eye, according to the results of a study by the CSIRO Division of Wildlife and Rangelands Research. Before this research on the identity of dingoes began, anecdotal evidence indicated that domestic dogs had been mating with them for years, particularly near agricultural regions in south-eastern Australia.
An urban data bank
Dr Peter Newton of the CSIRO Division of Building Research has got Melbourne taped. He has put on computer file data on Melbourne's demography, land use, housing, transport, and so on — altogether more than 2000 variables — to aid the urban planner.
‘Teabags’ keep divers warm
For a breathtaking experience try swimming in the icy waters of the Antarctic. The ice is brilliantly white, the water penetratingly blue and clear, and the temperature below freezing.