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Rocketing CO2 prompts criticisms of IPCC

Posted on 24 Oct 2007 in Environment, Journalism

No sooner is the Nobel prize in the bag than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is coming under fire for not being quick enough on its feet. Levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are rising faster than any climate models predict, and this has prompted some climate scientists to call for an urgent overhaul of the IPCC. Image: Atmospheric Infrared Sounder

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How El Niño slows the Earth’s spin

Posted on 21 Oct 2007 in Earth Science, Environment, Journalism

El Niño has an immense impact on the weather, so great in fact that the ocean warming phenomenon actually makes the planet spin more slowly. Until now, though, no one knew why. Image: FlyingSinger

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Himalayas created during a high-speed impact

Posted on 17 Oct 2007 in Earth Science, Journalism

It brings a new meaning to the land speed record. After the break-up of the Gondwanan supercontinent 140 million years ago, India sped north at 20 centimetres per year – about five times as fast as any other landmass in the recent geological past. The speed of its collision with Asia propelled the Himalayas to the top of the world. Image: James C Farmer

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Lap dancers “in heat” are the ones to watch

Posted on 11 Oct 2007 in Animal Behaviour, Evolution, Journalism

Take a bunch of lap dancers, some lustful men and a fistful of dollars, and you have the best evidence yet for the controversial idea that women send out signals which reveal their fertile periods. Image: Robbie Biller

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Echolocation took whales to the depths

Posted on 11 Aug 2007 in Evolution, Journalism, Life, Palaeontology

Toothed whales may owe their deep-dive ability to the power of echolocation. Early whales preyed on nautiluses and squid, which rose to the surface waters only under cover of darkness. To take advantage of this midnight feast, the ancestors of today’s sperm whales evolved to find their prey by echolocation. Image: kohane

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For trilobites, variety really was the spice of life

Posted on 8 Aug 2007 in Earth Science, Evolution, Journalism, Life, Palaeontology

It may be possible to predict winners and losers ahead of a mass extinction – those species with the greatest variability in their appearance should be most likely to survive. Image: dctim1

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