The top three news stories of the week, as chosen by our resident students. This week’s top stories include scaring birds away, climate change warnings and the effect of a solar eclipse on bees.
By Tom Phillips
Feathered fiends fearing funny eyes?
Googly eyes may be slightly unsettling to some, but apex predators that have been a pest around airports have found them positively terrifying.
A recent study from a group in France found that ‘looming googly eyes’ were effective at deterring raptors and corvids both in the lab and at airfields. Given the frequency of bird-plane collisions, this non-invasive method could be applied more widely to make airports bird- and collision-free!
Read more about this study here!
Climate Change Council claim curbing carbon crucial
The recent IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report has shed further light on mankind’s dismal position, warning that humanity has only a limited time-span of 10-30 years to radically change and avoid the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.
We’d need to cut our emissions at least 50% by 2030, and go carbon-neutral by 2050 to stay on track. Currently, we’re on track for 3 degrees warming, with political apathy being largely to blame. Scientists remain sceptical about the commitment of politicians to successfully implement emissions-free strategies, citing withdrawal of the USA from the Paris climate agreement as an example of resistance to action.
Click here to find out more about this report!
Bees buzz but become buzz-less during blackouts
Bees are essential pollinators worldwide, ferrying pollen between flowering plants and creating honey which goes well with a bagel. However, recent work during the ‘Great American Eclipse of 2017’ showed that bees might be scared of the dark.
During the 90 minute eclipse, sunlight was obscured by the moon and the temperature dropped by 10-15 degrees. By acoustically monitoring bee flight, the American entomological squad showed that decreased light intensity caused bees to stop flying during complete darkness, but didn’t affect them during ‘dim’ periods. Are bees actually scared of the dark? Who can say, but this is truly an un-bee-lievable phenomenon!
Read more about this interesting story here!