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New research, published in the journal Science, shows we have missed one of the largest sources of greenhouse gasses. Methane gas is leaking into the atmosphere from the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, at rates equivalent to the previous estimates for all the world’s oceans. It was thought the methane there was safely locked away, but thanks to years of trips, braving the conditions on Russian ice breaker ships, Dr. Natalia Shakhova, from the International Arctic Research Centre at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks and the Russian Academy of Sciences, has been able to show that's not the case. The implications are serious.
DEAD PIGS AND THE DEEP SEA
Marine scientists investigating the scourge of ocean dead zones have a new and unusual tool in their kit – dead pigs. Diverting the pigs from the butchers to an undersea observatory, scientists from the University of Victoria in Canada have found a unique way to study scavengers – the vital creatures that clean up the ocean floor. Our science reporter Victoria Gill met two of these researchers at the Ocean Sciences meeting in Portland, Oregon, last week who are looking at what kind of organisms feed on the dead pigs and how far they would travel for a free meal. Her full online report is available on the BBC News website as are videos of scavengers feeding on the dead pigs.
PERFECT MOSCOW WEATHER
Average temperatures in the Russian capital are still below freezing at this time of year – all day every day - causing considerable disruption to daily life. Authorities there spend millions of dollars every winter, trying to clear snow. Now, they’re looking at a radical alternative - getting rid of clouds over the capital so that it simply doesn’t snow. Meteorologists are still looking into tests of successful winter cloud seeding – a way of either forcing it to snow or rain before clouds reach the city, or simply breaking them up. Weather manipulation is also something Chinese officials have been experimenting with – most notably with measures to keep the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics from being rained on. But it's a controversial move. Katia Moskvitch reports for Science in Action from Moscow.
It's the big week in Hollywood as tinsel town prepares for the Oscars. With all the glitz and glamour of the red carpet you would think there would be no room for hard science. But big film directors do often work closely with scientists to at least base some of their more imaginative story lines on scientific facts. Jon Stewart caught up with Professor Sidney Perkowitz, from Emory University in Atlanta and author of the book "Hollywood Science" to find out more.