Green diamonds of the Witwatersrand reveal earth’s shifty secrets

A group of researchers at the Wits School of Geosciences have pin-pointed the age at which the earth’s plate tectonics began. Their results were recently published in an article in the Nature Geosciences journal. In an interview with SciBraai, lead author on the paper, Katie A. Smart, explained the significance of the study. “We are…

West Coast lobster not worried about climate change?

The West Coast rock lobster’s natural ability to adapt to varying environmental conditions may be its saving grace when it comes to climate change. This is according to research conducted by aquaculture scientist Dr Jarred Lee Knapp of Stellenbosch University. His research shows that these crustaceans have a natural ability to physiologically adapt to rising sea temperatures…

Some truths about lightning: when thunder roars, go indoors

There are many myths about lightning. Almost all cultures on Earth have their own beliefs about what causes it, writes Ryan Blumenthal, a senior specialist at the University of Pretoria, in The Conversation Africa. Firstly, we need to know how to think critically about lightning. Why are there so many myths about lightning? Could it be that…

[LISTEN] The Science Inside: The drought episode

This week The Science Inside radio show looks at the drought and water crisis hitting South Africa. Find out exactly where your water comes from with Dean Muruven from WWF SA’s #JourneyOfWater and take a look at how Cirrus Water Management is using atmospheric water generation to make water out of thin air. With the help…

Better get used to this heat

When the maximum temperature approaches 36 degrees around 2pm in Jozi, I’m like, screw this, I’m done; let’s pick it up after dark. And then I thank the flying spaghetti monster I’m not in Pretoria right now. I’m lucky enough to have that kind of flexibility, and many other people are lucky enough to enjoy…

Meer as net nog ‘n visstorie: oor Afrika se geologie

  Dis aan dr Woody Cotterill se hande waaraan ek dink toe ek lees dat hy saam met navorsers van die Universiteit Stellenbosch (US) en hul internasionale vennote R9.7 miljoen se befondsingsgeld van die Volkswagen Stigting gekry het. Dié evolusionêre bioloog gaan saam met biochemikus prof Dirk Bellstedt en spesialiste in Duitsland en Afrika saamspan…

How climate change is causing pied crow numbers to soar

Pied crows, or Corvus albus, are a natural part of the landscape of southern Africa. They are bold, common, and familiar. But over recent years, especially in South Africa, there is evidence that there are many more of these birds, write Susan Cunningham and Arjun Amar in The Conversation   The increase is worrying some conservationists who fear it…