Heinz Wolff, Great Egg Race presenter and scientist, dies

Heinz Wolff, Great Egg Race presenter and scientist, dies

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionHeinz Wolff’s show challenged scientists to create weird and wonderful gadgetsRenowned scientist and TV presenter Heinz Wolff has died, aged 89. The German-born inventor and professor, famed for hosting BBC Two’s long-running science show The Great Egg Race, died of heart failure on 15 December, his family said. A former advisor to the European Space Agency, he became emeritus professor at London’s Brunel University, working on projects linked to ageing populations. His son Laurence paid tribute to his humour, curiosity, and enthusiasm….

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California fires: Sentinel satellite tracks wildfire smoke plume

California fires: Sentinel satellite tracks wildfire smoke plume

Image copyrightCOPERNICUS SENTINEL DATA (2017) – KNMI/ESA Image caption The smoke plume heads out over the ocean and then turns northEurope’s new Sentinel-5P satellite has captured a dramatic image of the smoke billowing away from the devastating California wildfires. It is a powerful demonstration of 5P’s ability to sense the atmosphere. The plume is seen to sweep westwards out over the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles and then turn north towards the State of Oregon. The image, taken on Tuesday, was shown at this week’s annual meeting of the American…

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Sumatran rhino 'hanging on by a thread'

Sumatran rhino 'hanging on by a thread'

Image copyrightTom Uhlman Image caption Ipuh at the Cincinnati ZooScientists have decoded the genome of the Sumatran rhinoceros – one of the most threatened mammals on Earth. Its genetic blueprint shows that populations have been in decline for a very long time. The rhino’s troubles began during the last Ice Age, when its habitat shrunk, says a US team. Since then, human pressures have caused numbers to dwindle further. There are now thought to be fewer than 250 individuals left in the wild. “This species has been well on its…

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Hurricane Harvey rainfall 'weighed 127bn tonnes'

Hurricane Harvey rainfall 'weighed 127bn tonnes'

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionRoads turned to rivers across Houston as Harvey hitScientists have weighed the water that fell on Texas during the record-breaking Hurricane Harvey in August. They calculate, by measuring how much the Earth was compressed, that the Category 4 storm dropped 127 billion tonnes, or 34 trillion gallons. “One person asked me how many stadia is that. It’s 26,000 New Orleans Superdomes,” said Adrian Borsa from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His numbers were released as other scientists stated that this year’s big…

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Warmer Arctic is the 'new normal'

Warmer Arctic is the 'new normal'

Image caption Sea ice that is more than four years old has largely disappeared in the ArcticA warming, rapidly changing Arctic is the “new normal” and shows no signs of returning to the reliably frozen region of the past. This is according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Arctic Report Card. Director of the administration’s Arctic Researcher Program, Dr Jeremy Mathis, said the region did a great service to the planet – acting as a refrigerator. “We’ve now left that refrigerator door open,” he added. Dr Mathis was…

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