In this issue

Issue 6


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Inside our rainforests
Our continent never was well endowed with rainforest. Today we have much less. Dairy pastures and sugar cane cover the ground where not so long ago forest grew. ‘Rainforest’ evokes a mental picture of lush deep-green, dimly lit jungle consisting of tall evergreen trees from which hang rope-like vines. This is in fact true tropical rainforest. Not all Australian rainforests are like that.
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Helping abattoirs come clean
Obviously, any operation that kills and processes around 3000 animals each day is going to create waste-disposal problems. Cleansing the 900 000-odd litres of waste water that result from the daily processing operations of any reasonably large meatworks is no easy task.
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Noisy scrub-bird — then and now
Mention the noisy scrub-bird, and many ornithologists get excited. It's a bird that has always been rare, and for 50 — 60 years it was thought to be extinct, nevertheless, a quite extraordinary amount of effort was expended on trying to find this hard-to-see bird. It also has an important place in the history of Western Australia.
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Getting to know Papua New Guinea
Twenty-five years ago, very large gaps existed in knowledge of the vegetation, soils, and agricultural potential of Papua New Guinea. The position is quite different now. This year — the country's independence year — the CSIRO Division of Land Use Research is winding up a 23-year survey program that leaves Papua New Guinea as one of the most thoroughly examined and described countries in the developing world.
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Saving energy at home
The world will use about 10 times more energy this year than in 1900 — a somewhat spectacular statistic. But the era of cheap fuels seems to be drawing to a close, and possibly with it the era of ever-expanding energy use. Rising prices and the possibility of future scarcity are forcing people to look for ways to reduce their demands for energy.
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Dust in new desert towns
For most of us dust and deserts go together. Towns in such places tend to be dusty, so keeping levels as low as possible is important.
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Cooperating to reduce fire danger
However resistant to fire a building's structure may be, if its furnishings and fittings burn easily a fire indoors can kill people and cause great destruction.
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Forests, grassland, and water catchments
Australia has a fair amount of hardwood, but very little natural softwood. In 1965 the Australian Forestry Council recommended that the country should aim at producing all its softwood needs by the year 2000. To achieve this would require an increase in the rate of expansion of softwood timber plantings from 16 000 hectares per year to 30 000.
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In search of spray-can gases
If a chlorine atom meets an ozone molecule high up in the stratosphere, it may turn the ozone into ordinary oxygen. If large numbers of these meetings keep occurring, the eventual outcome could be a dangerous weakening of the ozone barrier that protects us from the Sun's biologically harmful ultraviolet radiation.
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