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28/03/12  |  Bremen, Germany

Garajonay - Can the Laurisilva preserve the Canary Island La Gomera from desertification?

It is spring, and tourists from all over the world visit the Canary island La Gomera to find recreation here after the long gray of the winter months. They expect a green landscape, palms, banana plantations, prospering almond trees and a sea of flowers. But in spring 2012 they find a brown, bare landscape suffering under the extreme desertification with only few green oases in the valleys and canyons. In some parts of the island there has been no rain for nearly one year. Only the Laurisilva in the mountainous regions of the island, the Garajonay National Park, seems to be able to cope with the extreme dryness. Can the evergreen Laurisilva protect the island from complete desertification?

23/03/12  |  Moscow

US Teenager Discovers Fibonacci Secret and Constructs Solar Panel “Tree”

US teenager Aidan Dwyer has become famous in the solar energy industry and won a Young Naturalist Award from the American Museum of Natural History for his “sun tree” project. Being aware that leaves use sunlight for photosynthesis, Aidan noticed that they grow in the same sequence as the Fibonacci Numbers and used the same principle to build a “tree” out of solar panels. It transpired that this tree collects up to 50% more energy than simple flat panels. “Grown-up” scientists have now begun to study this phenomenon.

21/03/12  |  

Why spring is blooming marvellous (and climate change makes it earlier)

With buds bursting early, only for a mild winter to turn Arctic and wipe them out, we are witnessing how warm weather can trigger flowering, even out of season, and how important it is for plants to blossom at the right time of year.

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