Energy crops, CryoSat-2 and bird bling
Willow, palm, miscanthus and other energy crops are being touted as a possible solution to our growing energy security problems. Some people are suggesting that they could help replace fossil fuels, plugging Britain's energy gap and cutting our carbon footprint. But before we go down that route, wouldn't it be sensible to find out how these crops affect the environment?That's the very question David Bohan from Rothamsted Research is trying to answer. He's researching how miscanthus and willow affect native biodiversity while looking at where these crops should be sited to have minimal environmental impact. Also in this week's podcast, we find out why 25 February will be a nail-biter for many scientists, not least for those from the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at University College London. Later we'll hear how British winters are ending an average of 11 days earlier compared with the 1970s, why red leg bands put male zebra finches in front of their rivals and what next for a group of scientists that has just returned from exploring volcanic vents in the Southern Ocean.