Australia’s sponge effect caused global sea levels to drop, study says

Publication: NBC News   Date: August 19, 2013   View Article

A serendipitous convergence of weather patterns funneled so much water over Australia that normally rising global sea levels actually fell in 2011, according to a new study.

In other words, the rain in Australia stays mainly … out of the ocean.

Unlike other land masses, the soils and topography of Australia are such that the continent acts like a giant sponge, preventing most of the rainfall it receives from quickly running off into the sea.

Wind-powered car crosses Australia on $15

Publication: NBC News   Date: February 8, 2013   View Article

A lightweight carbon-fiber car packing high-tech lithium-ion batteries and a portable wind turbine cruised 3,000 miles across Australia using just $15 worth of electricity from the grid. For an added boost, the drivers used a giant kite to pull the car down the road when the wind blew in the right direction.

“They were able to supplement their lithium-ion battery power with kite power about 10 to 15 percent of the time,” Bill Bunting, a senior scientist with Evonik Industries in New Jersey, told NBC News.

G’day, mate! Ocean-crossing robot reaches Australia

Publication: NBC News   Date: December 5, 2012   View Article

A robotic wave glider recently pulled into an Australian bay, marking the end of a record-setting 9,000-nautical-mile journey in the name of science and technology.

The Papa Mau robot is one of four wave gliders launched from San Francisco on Nov. 17, 2011. En route, it weathered gale-force winds, fended off sharks and gathered an unprecedented amount of data on weather and ocean conditions that is now available online for anyone to use.

Australia’s hybrid shark reveals evolution in action

Publication:   Date: January 3, 2012   View Article

Hybrid sharks have been discovered swimming in the waters off Australia’s east coast. The finding may be driven by climate change, a research team says, suggesting such discoveries could be more common in the future.

The hybridization is between the Australian black tip shark which favors tropical waters and the larger, common black tip shark, which favors sub-tropical and temperate waters.

Animal Photos Weekly: Flying Pig, Giant Fish, More

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 24, 2008   View Article

Captions for photos of animals in the news. Shots include the Pig Racing and Diving Show in Australia, a piracuru captured from smugglers in Brazil, a puppy at a shelter in Texas, a baby lion fed melamine tainted milk in China, and cremation of a lion in India.

Animal Photos Weekly: Gustav Pups, Baby Gorilla, More

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 3, 2008   View Article

Captions for photos of animals in the news. Shots include pet evacuees in preparation for Hurricane Gustav, a baby lowland gorilla at an Australian zoo, a charity event for abused donkeys, a patriot dog at the Republican National Convention in Minnesota, and the Cow Dung Golf Tournament in the Swiss Alps.

Animal Photos Weekly: Albino Whale, Baby Giraffe, More

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 27, 2008   View Article

Captions for photos of animals in the news. Shots include a young seal set for release in the North Sea, an albino southern right whale in Australia, a newborn giraffe in San Diego, and a Beal’s four-eyed turtle.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach