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Monthly Archives: April 2018

‘Send in the drones’ to protect soil

Squadrons of drones should be deployed to locate and penalise farmers who let soil run off their fields, a report will say. A coalition of campaigners complains that the Environment Agency can only check soil on 0.5% of farms each year. Their report says drones can help to spot bad …

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Antarctica ‘gives ground to the ocean’

Scientists now have their best view yet of where Antarctica is giving up ground to the ocean as some of its biggest glaciers are eaten away from below by warm water. Researchers using Europe’s Cryosat radar spacecraft have traced the movement of grounding lines around the continent. These are the …

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Space junk demo mission launches

A UK-led experiment to tackle space junk has been sent into orbit. It takes the form of a small satellite that will practise techniques for tracking debris and capturing it. The RemoveDebris system is heading to the International Space Station where astronauts are expected to set the experiment running in …

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Plastic bag litter falls in UK seas

A study of litter in UK seas shows the number of plastic bags has fallen, amid a rise in other types of plastic rubbish. The authors say this could be due to several things – the introduction of charges for plastic bags across Europe, manufacturing changes and shifts in ocean …

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The whales who love to sing in the dark

Beneath the Arctic sea ice, in the blanket of January’s polar night, bowhead whales most prefer to sing. While the songs of humpback whales have long received the most attention, it turns out that their baleen cousins could have a far greater repertoire. A study of a bowhead population near …

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Hawking: Black holes store information

Black holes preserve information about the stuff that falls into them, according to Prof Stephen Hawking. Physicists have long argued about what happens to information about the physical state of things that are swallowed up by black holes. This information was thought to be destroyed, but it turned out that …

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Dozen black holes found at galactic centre

A dozen black holes may lie at the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way, researchers have said. A new analysis provides support for a decades-old prediction that “supermassive” black holes at the centres of galaxies are surrounded by many smaller ones. However, previous searches of the Milky Way’s centre, …

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How Amsterdam is reducing child obesity

Childhood obesity rates are rising in many parts of the world – but in Amsterdam they are falling. The city’s healthy-weight programme has seen a 12% drop in overweight and obese children. “Go!” shouts the instructor. Tyrell van der Wees throws himself forward to do sit-ups, then jumps up and …

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