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The Path of Hurricane Florence

Why Hurricane Florence is headed for the US Eastern seaboard and the impacts of landfall. Also, the earliest human drawing, Helen Czerski in the Arctic and a new grasspea crop.

Despite the threat of Hurricane Florence to the US Eastern Seaboard, and the recent succession of tropical cyclones around the world, this current Atlantic hurricane season looks like it’ll just be an average storm season, after a slow start. Dr. Jill Trepanier, a climate scientist at Louisiana State University, studies the processes that create and sustain hurricanes, and explains why Florence is taking its unusual track to the North and South Carolina coast.

Earliest Drawing
A 73,000-year old ochre drawing in a cross-hatch design has been discovered in Blombos Cave on the southern coast of South Africa. It is now the earliest known human drawing in history. It completes a suite of discoveries revealing early human culture from the same cave: paint and paintbrush, ochre crayons, engravings, and shell beads. The cross-hatch drawing, found on a flake from a grindstone, pushes drawing, as an indicator of modern human behaviour and cognition, nearly twice as early as previously known.

Arctic Expedition
Update from physicist Helen Czerski. She is part of a group of scientists on board the Oden, a Swedish icebreaker and scientific research vessel currently in the high Arctic. The international team of researchers have spent nearly a month anchored to Arctic sea ice near the North Pole. The mission is to study the interaction between sea, ice and atmosphere at the North Pole. Helen’s job is to study the bubbles forming between ocean and atmosphere to see whether cloud-seeding organic particles are crossing from sea to air.

Making the Grasspea a Safer Staple Crop
The legume – grasspea - is grown in India, Bangladesh and Ethiopia. It’s a high protein crop which can withstand droughts and floods. So why don’t more countries grow it? If it’s eaten in too large quantities it can make you very sick. Researchers are now looking for varieties with lower levels of the poisonous compounds in a race to make the robust crop popular again.

Picture: Satellite image of Hurricane Florence, Picture: Credit: NOAA/Getty Images

Presenter: Roland Pease
Producer: Fiona Roberts

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27 minutes

Last on

Mon 17 Sep 2018 00:32GMT

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