Visualising growth and movements

Plants grow and move at speeds that are too slow for us to easily notice. By means of time-lapse-photography we can create videos with increased speed for easier visualisation.

The video above is an example using infrared radiation (IR) for illumination. IR radiation is usually assumed not to affect plants and is invisible to humans.

CFCs, the ozone layer and global change

I guess most people reading this blog already know about the role of CFCs in the thinning of the ozone layer and its extreme manifestation the “ozone hole”. (If not you will find explanations here and here and ozone depletion maps here, and information on the Montreal protocol here and here.)

An article by Prof. Nigel Paul published in the The Conversation highlights the success of the protocol.

However, what fewer people know is that CFCs are potent “greenhouse gases”, and a recent article discusses why of all measures taken up to day, what has most significantly contributed to slowing-down global warming is the Montreal protocol. In my view, to a large extent this just shows how little progress has been achieved in reducing emissions of other “greenhouse gases” like carbon dioxide. A recent article in The Economist highlights this.


Talking plants

This layman’s introduction to plant-plant communication in Quanta on-line magazine is interesting both in relation to the phenomena studied and how science works. Nowadays that plants communicate with each other is widely accepted, but several types of communication are still controversial and not all available evidence is as strong as one would wish. Consequently, it is a very exciting field and time to do research about plant-plant interactions, including communication!