In this issue



Issue 33




Contents

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Spray-resistant mites to the rescue
Two tiny animals discovered by chance — one in the United States of America, the other in New Zealand — are saving Australian apple-growers many thousands of dollars in chemical sprays. The animals are predatory mites.
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Methane, too, may be warming the atmosphere
Methane, or marsh gas, is increasing in abundance in our atmosphere. With other trace gases, it is adding to the suggested warming effect of the steadily growing concentration of carbon dioxide.
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A corrosion map of Melbourne
Two years ago, and again last year, scientists from the CSIRO Divisions of Building Research and Mineral Chemistry placed hundreds of small steel plates 2 km apart on power poles throughout the 900 sq km of the Melbourne metropolitan area.
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Piecing together the fossil bird story
When the 19th Century explorers scanned the shimmering horizons of central Australia in their search for an inland sea, they were on the right track — but many thousands of years too late.
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Monitoring the health of the arid inland
What is happening to Australia's arid and semi-arid land? Does it grow as much pasture as it used to? Is it eroding — and, if so, how badly? And are the native plant communities adequately conserved?
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Wind maps of Australia
Over a short time span the wind seems very fickle. However, the average character of the wind at a given spot over months and years is much more regular.
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Wood fibres replace asbestos in cement sheeting
About 50 million square metres of flat and corrugated asbestos-cement sheeting are used in Australia each year.
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An international information exchange
Looking for environmental information and not knowing where to start? A good starting point may be Infoterra, a world-wide network set up by the United Nations to help organizations and individuals locate sources of technical, scientific, and decision-making information on the environment.
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Where the Great Barrier Reef gets its nutrients
Coral reefs such as the Great Barrier Reef present a puzzling paradox: they grow profusely, and support a rich collection of life forms, in a virtually sterile sea. Where do they get the necessary nutrients?
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Colour photos from the electron microscope
A film or television program screened in colour appeals to us more than one in black and white. Apart from the obvious aesthetic appeal, greater detail, clarity, and subtlety are possible.
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Giving local soils international class
Last November some 50 Australian soil and agricultural scientists and an American professor met at a workshop in Brisbane to see what happens when you try using an American scheme to classify Australian soils.
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Bushfire warnings by calculator
The fire danger will be very high tomorrow.' We've all heard that remark during summer weather forecasts, but probably without stopping to wonder how the danger is calculated.
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The Cooloola monster gains a relative
In 1977, Dr David Rentz arrived in Australia to take up his new position as Curator of Orthoptera (the order of insects containing, for example, grasshoppers and crickets) within the CSIRO Division of Entomology, Canberra.
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