In this issue

Issue 28


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When the air’s carbon dioxide doubles
Inhale. Some ten thousand million more molecules of carbon dioxide entered your lungs than did so in your previous breath.
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Why do forest sands become less fertile?
We all know that, if you grow wheat or cabbages in the same place year after year, you must take special precautions if yields are not to decline. Is the same true of timber forests?
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Managing to save fuel
Fuel economy is a matter of concern to both the cost-burdened motorist and the nation trying to make its fuel supply last. Yet on a nation-wide scale the fuel economy of Australia's motor vehicles appears to be falling steadily.
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How will the Burdekin Valley react to a dam?
The recent prolonged dry spell over much of Australia must have made many farmers wish they were 'drought-proofed' by suitable river dams.
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Halting the rise of salt damp
The words 'salt damp' cause many Australians the kind of anxiety aroused by the thought of cancer.
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Ants’ homes: built to last
At first glance, the nest of a colony of red meat ants looks a careless affair, resembling a spill of gravel from a passing truck. Yet some nests are almost certainly veritable antiques, whose age can only be guessed at but must be measured in centuries.
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Pollution of crops and pastures by a smelter
The South Australian town of Port Pirie is dominated by a metal-refining complex, incorporating the world's largest lead smelter.
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In praise of bats
Without a great deal of searching, bats can be found in just about every part of Australia. Most people don't bother to look. They are content to note a shape flitting around a street light or skimming over water. If a bat should happen to fly into their home in pursuit of insects they quickly make it unwelcome.
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Renewable energy index
The latest issue (number 3) of the Australian Renewable Energy Resources Index (ARERI) is now available. It gives a complete index of all papers published in Australia, or by Australian authors in overseas publications, dealing with renewable energy resources.
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High on comfort, low on energy
In the peak of an Australian summer, the refuge from scorching heat that an air-conditioner provides is particularly welcome.
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Common names
Two recently published booklets provide a much-needed bridge between the world of common names and that of scientific nomenclature. One indexes common plant names against their scientific equivalent (and vice versa); the other does the same for insects.
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Signs of wombats from space
During a land resources survey of South Australia, two CSIRO scientists were intrigued by a great number of conspicuous white patches on Landsat satellite images of the southern fringes of the Nullarbor Plain. The patches ended sharply at a straight line marking the location of a vermin-proof fence.
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