Ecos

A bimonthly scholarly journal that publishes research and issues of sustainability in the environment, industry and community. Focused on Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Articles from April

Adapting to a Climate of Uncertainty
The science of predicting climate change is clouded with uncertainty. We can't foretell how human behaviour -- policy decisions, technological advances and population growth -- will effect greenhouse gas emissions in the coming century. We don't...
A Monotreme about Town
Given how difficult it is to spot platypus, one would think they spend most of their time lounging in and around their burrow. But a recent study by the Australian Platypus Conservancy has shown that platypus like to cruise around. Study leader,...
Caught in the Crossfire
Abstract: The distribution of koalas is influenced by chemical defences that have evolved in leaves to prevent herbivory. In one study a new group of plant chemical defences called diformyl-phloroglucinols (DFPs) explained 75% of the variation in koala...
Cool Evidence Confirms Unnatural Rise in Methane
Latest analysis of air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice cores has confirmed a dramatic surge in atmospheric methane concentrations since pre-industrial times and a puzzling trend towards their stabilisation since 1980. The ice cores, some more than...
Cyclone Warnings
Abstract: Predicting the effects of a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is an important part of CSIRO investigations into the impacts of climate change. Habitats and food supplies of Australia's rare, rainforest marsupials are likely to...
Finding the Energy to Come Clean
Abstract: New energy-generation technologies are needed to reduce the accumulation of combustion by-products in the atmosphere. CSIRO Energy Technology is contributing to their development with a demonstration hybrid solar/fossil fuel facility and...
Glimpses of a Warmer World
Climatologists have identified a lag effect in the global climate system, in the form of the Southern Ocean. Graerne O'Neill reports. In 1998, the average global temperature was 0.66 [degrees] C above the long-term average, breaking the previous...
Modelling the Battle of the Grasses
BEYOND the forest, in the grasslands of Australia's semi-arid and and interior, the ecological balance could also be disrupted as carbon dioxide concentrations rise. Dr Mark Howden of the Bureau of Rural Sciences is seconded to the Division of Wildlife...
New Directions in Sustainability Planning
An innovative approach to regional planning in central Queensland is helping to promote sustainability across a broad cross-section of the rural community. According to participants, the approach is creating an unprecedented level of cooperation between...
Outfall Fallout
Abstract: A study by CSIRO's Environmental Projects Office has found that ammonia released at the Boags Rocks ocean outfall, which disposes 40% of Melbourne's wastewater, has a damaging effect on the local ecosystem. The study involved an environmental...
Shedding Light on Lepidoptera
Ian Common has been deciphering Australia's insect biodiversity since long before the term existed. In the summer of 1950, Dr Ian Common began making weekly forays from his Canberra office to the granite boulders of the Brindabella Ranges, seeking...
Tagging along with Sharks
Katherine Johnson describes the sophisticated surveillance devices used to expose the secret lives of sharks. In blue waters off Western Australia's Ningaloo Reef, divers approach the broad head and speckled body of a whale shark, the world's largest...
Trees Face the Acid Test
For the first time, scientists have shown that certain species of trees can counteract soil acidification. Using field and laboratory studies, CSIRO's Andrew Noble and Peter Randall are developing an agroforestry armoury against this damaging phenomenon....
Treetop Tremors
Graeme O'Neill outlines the threat to rare, leaf-eating mammals posed by rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels. At the height of the last glacial period 18 000 years ago, the mountain pigmy possum, Burramys parvus, ranged widely across the...